John Lewis fashion sales were up by 17% in the first week of September, after tough trading conditions in August.
Total sales were up by 11% to £86.8m for the week ending September 5, compared witih the same period last year.
Barry Matheson, director of retail services, called it “the perfect combination of a damp Bank Holiday Monday, cool weather through the week and a shift in the fall of the calendar for back to school”.
Online sales were up 19% year on year. Sales at 36 of John Lewis’s 45 stores were up on last year, led by Ipswich, Cardiff and Tamworth.
Outerwear and knitwear for both men and women performed well, while shoes and boots were up by 75% on the previous week. Kidswear was up by 18% on the previous year, thanks to a last-minute surge in back to school buying.
“As new product floods into our shops and online, the focus is on exploiting that newness and innovation in our assortments,” said Matheson. “September will be a barometer of how customers are feeling, giving us an early indication of the strength of seasonal trade ahead. I have every confidence that we will not be disappointed.”