Strong sales in its shops and online helped department store retailer John Lewis to "break records" over the Christmas trading period.

The company said sales for the five weeks to 28 December were 7.2% higher than last year, totalling GBP734m (US$1.21bn). On a like-for-like basis, sales rose 6.9%.

Compared with two years ago, total sales were 23.1% up whilst like-for-like sales grew by 20.5%.

During the five-week period, sales in its shops increased by 1.2% and online sales were 22.6% up on last year.

The company said Click & Collect orders - where customers buy online and then pick up in a store - surged by 61.8% on last year.

The retailer, which sells a range of products including electricals and home furnishings, said fashion (including beauty) was up 8.5%.

"This Christmas has seen trade take a different shape to previous years, with an early peak driven by Black Friday and a huge surge in the final 10 days," explained managing director Andy Street.

"Many of the big online shopping days and weeks occurred earlier in the period but shops were packed in the last-minute rush on 'manic Monday' (23 December) when we saw our city centre shops record peak days.

"With new highs in branches as well as for, this has been a genuine omni-channel Christmas."