The spring heatwave boosted demand for summer fashion ranges at department store John Lewis and triggered a five-fold rise in sales of barbecue food at sister chain Waitrose.
Soaring temperatures prompted shoppers to refresh their wardrobes in the week to 24 March, while the supermarket chain, which is also a part of the John Lewis Partnership, said customers snapped up slow-cooked pork ribs and pork belly, burgers and sausages.
But the unseasonable temperatures were not entirely helpful - shopper numbers at John Lewis’ out-of-town stores fell over the weekend, while sales of homewares suffered.
The department store chain’s sales rose by a “solid” 6.5 per cent, mainly driven by a 22 per cent rise in electrical items ahead of London’s digital switchover next week and the continuing demand for the new iPad. Waitrose saw a 5.9 per cent rise in sales.