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London retail sales fall for fourth month

London retail sales fell 0.7% on a like for like basis in December, but this was ahead of the 3.3% fall across the UK as a whole.

The British Retail Consortium said that December footfall in central London was ahead of the previous year and up on the last few months. This was against a small drop in footfall across the UK.

For the three month period October to December, like-for-like sales in central London fell by 1.2%.

British Retail Consortium director general Stephen Robertson said: “In the context of today’s tough conditions, these are weak figures that could have been worse. This is London retail’s poorest December since 2004 but beats the rest of the UK.”

“Some retailers did have strong individual days just before Christmas but overall these did not compensate for the dismal weeks before that.”

“City job losses are serious and generating a lot of publicity but, generally, London customers are slightly less pessimistic that those in other parts of the country.”

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