Figures from the BDO High Street Sales Tracker show overall sales up 5.6% in the week to February 21, when compared with the same week last year.
Homewares delivered a 9.4% increase. BDO LLP says that despite being flattered by weak comparisons, sales in the sector surged at the fastest rate this year.
Furniture sales were especially strong, while textiles also sold well.
At the same time, mail order and online sales jumped by 53.2%, aided by the half-term holiday. The most notable beneficiary was fashion, where many stores saw online takings double.
BDO LLP says that “this positive start to the year puts retailers, whether online or on the high street, in a good position to emerge in to the spring season on good form”.