John Lewis blamed a shift in dates for school half term holidays and the current economic downturn for a 7.6% fall in sales last week.
John Lewis saw sales fall 7.6% to £48.24 million for the week to October 18, adding that the half term date changes had made annual comparisons difficult.
Fashion sales rose 0.9% over the week - a significant slowdown from previous weeks.
But John Lewis said women's footwear and men's accessories performed "particularly strongly", with girlswear and babywear growing "well above last year".
John Lewis said its northern stores were the best performing branches, with sales in Aberdeen up 7%.
John Lewis added that all areas of the business, including stock levels, customer service, profit margins and availability, are "performing well".