Like-for-like retail sales in central London rose 5.1%, well ahead of the 1.2% fall across the UK as a whole according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
Like-for-like retail sales in the capital were up 5.8% for the three month period January through March against a 0.7% fall across the country..
“Overseas visitors provided a boost to London sales, attracted by the favourable exchange rates. Consumer confidence in the capital also held up better than the rest of the UK.”
BRC director general Stephen Robertson
However the BRC pointed out that the shift of Easter on the calender, it fell in March last year but April this year, together with completely different weather patterns, meant that comparisons had been hard to draw.
The warmer and sunnier weather this March did boost fashion and footwear sales though and there was good interest in transitional ranges.
Tourist numbers in London also held up, thanks to the favourable exchange rate, but some retailers said that tourists were spending less.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “London retailers outperformed their UK counterparts by a wide margin. Although March didn’t include Easter this year, it did benefit from warm sunny weather compared with last year’s snow and rain. Clothing and footwear sales were boosted by the better weather.”
Robertson added: “Overseas visitors provided a boost to London sales, attracted by the favourable exchange rates. Consumer confidence in the capital also held up better than the rest of the UK.”