John Lewis recorded a 12.5% uplift in fashion sales for the week to October 3, despite tough comparative figures.
Total sales at John Lewis rose by a higher than expected 6.3%.
John Lewis region A selling operations director Nat Wakely said that 14 branches delivered sales ahead of last year, led by Bluewater which posted a 12% uplift.
However sales of some cold weather merchandise were held back by mild weather.
Wakely said: “The weather was a lot milder this year compared to last and the same calendar week a year ago was our strongest in percentage terms in the October trading period, so it looked like a high hurdle to jump.”