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London retail sales best for five months

Central London retail sales rose 6.5% on a like for like basis in January - far ahead of the 1.1% uplift across the UK as a whole.

The British Retail consortium said that Central London like-for-like sales were ahead 1.5% for the three months ended January, against a 1.7% fall across the UK as a whole.

The BRC said that trade had been boosted by shoppers taking advantage of clearance Sales, especially for discretionary items of clothing and footwear. Footfall was slightly down on December but well up on January last year.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “After four months of annual declines, there was a strong bounce back in London’s January retail sales. Customers took advantage of the many clearance sales on offer, resulting in the highest like-for-like increase since August. There was also a boost from overseas shoppers taking advantage of sterling’s weakness and the wide range of clearances.

“The heavy snowfall will have affected trading in the first week of February. London retailers will be hoping for more predictable weather for the rest of the year and that the sales increase in January can be maintained.”

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