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London retail sales rise in October

Retail sales in London were 4.2% higher on a like-for-like basis in October compared with last year when sales fell 2.6%.

According to the BRC-KPMG London Retail Sales Monitor retail footfall in October was just higher than a year ago. Unseasonably mild weather, against the cold, snowy October last year, plus half-term and Halloween gave shoppers a reason to come out.

Clothing and footwear struggled in the mild weather.

Stephen Robertson, director general, BRC, said: “These are the first solid signs that it will be a better retail Christmas than 2008. London sales were well up on the dismal performance of a year ago and outperformed the rest of the UK, though not to quite the same extent as in recent months.

“Consumer confidence in the capital was stronger than the rest of the country, which together with housing market stability, helped homewares sales. But milder weather than last October meant customers delayed spending on winter clothing and footwear ranges.

“The weak pound continued to attract European visitors. There was also a boost from Chinese tourists visiting London as part of their ‘Golden Week’ – when several of their public holidays fall around the same time.”

KPMG head of retail Helen Dickinson said: “The next few weeks will be crucial for retailers but these latest figures should hopefully be cause for greater optimism.”

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