JOHN Lewis Partnership said department store sales soared by 30% after a “remarkable” week of trading over the Easter holiday.

The haul of £59m was also 21% higher than the equivalent Easter period in 2009 and reflected strong growth across all major stores.

The sales cheer follows Thursday’s better-than-expected fourth quarter trading figures from Marks & Spencer, which suggests consumer spending is holding up well.

Jill Little, merchandise director for John Lewis, described last week’s figures as a “remarkable result” and said the retailer hoped to maintain its good run.

She added: “This week we will continue to see the impact of Easter on sales and better weather should drive sales of new season fashions and outdoor living.

“We now have news of the general election, but it remains to be seen whether this will have an impact on consumer confidence.”

John Lewis sales in the week to last Saturday were boosted by a 24% rise for its home offering, 22% for fashion and 19% for electronics and home entertainment.

Its best performing stores were at the Bluewater and Trafford shopping centres, where sales rose 46.3% and 45.4% respectively, although shoppers also went online, sending sales at up by 57.1%.

John Lewis Partnership’s Waitrose supermarket arm also enjoyed buoyant trading last week.