Sales were down -43.3% at John Lewis & Partners last week, but up +30% compared to the week before Black Friday last year, which fell earlier in the month.

However, this performance exceeded the retailer's expectations, with the scheduled launch of Black Friday deals towards the end of the week, reports trading director Simon Coble.

"We have launched hundreds of Black Friday deals across a range of categories, including technology, home, nursery, fragrance and toys and we are already seeing positive pick-up of these deals," says Simon. "For the Black Friday period, John Lewis is also lowering thousands of prices of individual products to match high street competitors’ deals as part of our Never Knowingly Undersold price promise.

"Home sales were down -14.7% but we saw customers shopping for Christmas products with overall Christmas sales up +5.7% and sales of advent calendars up +4% as we draw closer to December."