John Lewis offered some festive cheer from the retail sector by reporting a second successive week of record sales.
The department store business, which has 39 shops across the UK, took £147.8 million at the tills and online in the week to Saturday, an increase of 11.1% on a year earlier.
Its website operation also broke the previous week's record by registering sales of £43.1 million over the seven days.
Selling operations director Maggie Porteous said: "With a further nine shopping days before the big event, it is excellent news to have already had two record weeks, both over £140 million for the first time."
The figures support signs that there was a welcome boost for retailers on the penultimate Saturday before Christmas.
According to reports, big discounts offered by retailers tempted people out in huge numbers to high streets and shopping centres across the UK.
Union Square shopping centre in Aberdeen recorded a 7.8% increase in the number of shoppers on Friday, compared with the same day last year.
General manager Ryan Manson said: "We had an extremely busy Saturday, and with the last two weekends being the busiest of the year so far it's likely that we'll experience another record breaker this weekend."