Department store operator John Lewis has experienced its worst weekly sales fall in nearly six months, with revenues dropping 8.3% in the seven days to 27 September.

"A combination of unseasonably sunny, warm weather and a huge amount of coverage of the global economic situation added together to give a very tough trading week," the UK retailer admitted.

The company's fashion sales dipped 6%, although its flagship Oxford Street store in London had a "good" week, boosted by particularly strong women's wear sales.

"The new women's wear campaign has helped drive footfall into branches, as well as sales of the featured categories - and in my branch visits I've been struck by how positively this campaign has been received by women's wear-selling partners [staff]," said Dan Knowles, the company's director of selling operations for Region B.

"The market is tougher than it's been for a long while - and John Lewis will be rigorous in keeping doing the right things for partners and customers, driving sales, taking share and managing our cost base for long-term development," he added.