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John Lewis weekly sales up 11 percent, hit November record

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's biggest department store group John Lewis saw sales rise 11 percent in the week to November 24 compared to a year ago, marking the first time ever that November sales rose above 100 million ($160 million).

The company said on Sunday that department store sales in the week totaled 109.6 million pounds, 19.6 percent above the previous week's figure.

A John Lewis spokeswoman said the figure included online sales, which were 34.6 percent higher than a year ago.

Overall sales were driven by strong demand for technology products such as tablet computers, radios, cameras and coffee-making machines, as well as items for the home such as furnishings and Christmas trees.

"We are extremely pleased to have achieved such a strong uplift in sales," said Maggie Porteous, head of selling operations. "There is no doubt that Christmas sales are really beginning to take off."

John Lewis has been outperforming rivals and the wider market because its generally more affluent customers have been less affected by Britain's economic downturn.

($1 = 0.6246 British pounds)

(Reporting by Laurence Fletcher; Editing by Sophie Walker)