John Lewis finished the week to August 8 with sales slightly down on last year at -0.6%.
The department store group said trade in London was hampered by the tube strike, along with the comparisons of some key sporting events in the south-east last year. Its online business grew by 8.0% year-on-year.
Branch-wise, Newbury stole the show with sales 18% up, followed by Chester (11.6%), Tamworth (9.2%), Sheffield (4.4%) and Croydon (2.5%).
Home sales were down 2.3% on last year. However, Home Accessories & Gifting bucked the trend with a positive result of 7.3% on last year. EHT (Electricals & Home Technology) sales were down 2.3% on the year, but Small Electricals were up on last year.
David Barford, director of selling for London and the South said: “Looking ahead we have the first groups of holidaymakers coming back and looking for Back to School inspiration and the next wave of people off on holiday. We have plenty of opportunity to make up some lost ground from last week and to optimise all areas of our offer.”