Retail sales in central London in August were 8.2% higher than a year earlier, on a like-for-like basis. This was much weaker than the 9.8% in August 2007 but stronger than the 1.0% decline in the UK as whole. London still enjoys substantial year-on-year growth in footfall but less strong than in May and June.
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Western Europeans remained the main overseas shoppers, taking advantage of the strong Euro. Some special sales and discounts helped clothing and footwear however big-ticket homewares remained tough for many, reported the Retail Bulletin.
Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “A strong performance for central London compared with the rest of the UK. For many, miserable August weather and high fuel costs made indoor London shopping more attractive than outdoor leisure or trips further afield. Heavy discounting, tourist spending and Londoners’ greater resilience to the slowdown also kept sales growing.”
Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail, KPMG, addd : “Despite the poor August weather, London’s retail sales performance has remained buoyant. It has once again outperformed the rest of the UK this month and improved on last month’s like-for-like figures by over two percentage points. The significant variation of results between individual retailers highlights that some in London are not immune to the current slowdown being felt by the wider UK retail market.”
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