John Lewis says it achieved its best sales performance in a single day on Black Friday, after a tougher year for retailers so far.
The department store chain said that after weeks of “challenging sales” it saw a 7.2% rise during the weekto 25 November compared to the same period last year.
It raked in £214.3m, with both stores and online sales driving the increase.
John Lewis said it saw a peak of 705 items per minute sold online during Black Friday itself.
The John Lewis Partnership, which is employee-owned and also includes Waitrose, is looking for a stronger performance across the festive season to end the year on a high.
Image: The bulk of Black Friday spending in the UK is now online
It had previously warned of tougher trading when it reported a 53% plunge in half-year profits despite rising sales.
Weak wage growth has combined with price rises in the economy to squeeze household budgets.
It has left all retailers under pressure to absorb price increases linked to the collapse in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote – rather than pass them on to customers at the check-out.
Analysts will be looking at the trading profitability of retailers, rather than sales growth, following the Christmas season amid mixed forecasts for spending.
A recent report by Visa predicted the first fall in four years.
But the update from John Lewis will have provided some encouragement for the sector as many big name retailers continue to seek bargain hunters in an extended Cyber Monday sale.
John Lewis said Apple MacBooks and LG Smart TVs were some of its best sellers on Black Friday.
A report by VoucherCodes and the Centre for Retail Research expected UK consumers to spend £7.8bn over the four-day period – up 7% on last year.
Source: SKY News