Waitrose, the upmarket UK retailer, saw sales jump by more than 20% during the week before Christmas, its parent John Lewis said today (5 January).

The company reported a sales increase of 20.8% for the trading week ending 26 December, compared with the same week last year.

The previous trading week - ending 19 December - sales were up by 16.5%. For the 13-week period ending 26 December, sales climbed 16.1%.

Waitrose is the first of the UK's largest retailers to issue a trading update for the period including the run-up to Christmas.

Marks and Spencer will report to the market tomorrow and Sainsbury's will follow a day later.

Morrisons, the UK's fourth-largest grocer, will issue its latest numbers on 21 January.