Menswear, leisure and beauty performed strongest, up 5.5%, boosted by the refits in menswear departments across the chain. Womenswear was down 1.1%, with kidswear up 0.6%.
Only four branches were ahead of last year, with sales at the Aberdeen shop up 14%. Stores in London's Oxford Street, Kingston and Watford also saw increases.
Sales at mail order and online business John Lewis Direct were up 41.9%.