Upmarket UK grocer Waitrose said the long-awaited arrival of summer weather and shoppers stocking-up for a weekend of sports drove its strongest weekly sales performance outside of Christmas and Easter.

The firm, part of the employee-owned John Lewis Partnership, said its sales jumped 14.5% year-on-year to £125.8m sterling in the week to July 6.

"Out came the sun and so did the barbecues," Waitrose said, highlighting a 450% year-on-year rise in demand for charcoal and a 173% increase in sales of barbecuing meats.

The firm said Andy Murray's progress to the Wimbledon men's singles final and the deciding match in the Lions' series against Australia also spurred demand for drinks, with sales of Pimm's up 316%.

Waitrose is one of Britain's fastest growing grocers as the market increasingly polarises.

At John Lewis's department store, division weekly sales rose 0.2% to £71.7m. In contrast, the fine weather and sporting events were a hindrance as outdoor pursuits were preferred over shopping.

The business did, however, see a 300% rise in sales of barbecues.