DEPARTMENT store chain John Lewis saw sales go into reverse last week.

The company reported a 3.4% fall in same-store sales compared with the same week last year, but said that was largely due to an earlier start for its clearance sale.

John Lewis said revenues from electrical goods and home technology rose, but the improvement was outweighed by falling takings for fashion sales and other home products.

Supermarket arm Waitrose saw sales increase by 9.2% as a return to warm weather boosted demand for barbecues.

The new LOVE life range of nutritionally balanced food also sold well, with takings up by 30% on some lines.