Quieter furniture demand contributed to a dip in Home category goods sales at John Lewis last week. Total sales still climbed 2.5 per cent to £70.6m.

The department store retailer said Home was down 1.9 per cent in the seven days to 6th February, the first week of its new financial year.

From this week, the retailer is no longer providing a breakdown of individual store performance, though in its commentary it acknowledged that the balance of stores were down against last year.

New format branches at Heathrow, Tunbridge Wells, Poole, York and Ipswich all made “particularly good headway” according to head of selling Liz Mihell.

She added that the strongest directorate trade came Electricals and Home Technology with white goods and vision performing well. Home sales were down as a result of quieter furniture sales after a strong run during clearance, she said.