Key UK retailer John Lewis Partnership saw its weekly sales fall 2.2% in the week to 11 October, further illustrating the general slowdown in consumer spending.

Stripping out the results of supermarket chain Waitrose, the decline at John Lewis was 4.8% compared to last year's sales, with the company blaming warm weather and gloomy economic news for the slump.

The sales fall came despite a promising start to the week, with trade up 7% and 9% respectively on the first two days.

"As the financial world news worsened and the sun started to shine, so did our trade fall away," said John Lewis.

But the company said it continued to draw confidence from market share gains in fashion in particular.

Children's wear boasted the best performance of any buying group, thanks to girls' wear showing double-digit growth, followed by women's wear, boosted by strong fashion accessories.