John Lewis said like-for-like sales jumped 7.6% in the five weeks to January 1.
Total sales over the Christmas period rose 8.9% year-on-year to £545m.
Compared with two years ago, total sales were 26.2% up, and like-for-likes grew by 21.7%.
Fashion, including beauty, was up 8.7% during the period. The retailer said it gained market share in all categories.
Online sales rose 42%, and have reached £500m for the year to date, the first time this milestone has been passed.
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, said: “Sales during both Christmas and Clearance have been outstanding. We have broken records for the biggest week (£121m) and biggest day (£27.8m) as well as hitting a key milestone (£500m for the year) for our online trade.”
The fifth week of the period to January 1 saw sales of £106.4m, a 4.6% increase year-on-year and comprised five trading days this year rather than six, due to the fall of the Bank Holiday.
Street added: “Our success confirms our strength as a multichannel retailer. This capability was particularly important during the adverse weather. Online sales soared during the first snowfall as customers struggled to get to the shops.
“When the weather turned for a second time closer to Christmas, shoppers wanted the reassurance of having their goods in their hands and our shops saw sales surge as a result. Our success can be attributed to the service delivered by our partners, inspiring products and excellent value through our ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ commitment. This winning formula will continue to be our focus throughout 2011.”