London retail sales rose 5.4% on a like for like basis in April - slightly ahead of retail sales across the UK as a whole.
The British Retail Consortium (BRC) said that differing weather patterns and Easter calendar dates meant that drawing direct comparisons with April last year was difficult and that London had not seen the same boost as the rest of the country had during the month. But sales of fashion and footwear in the capital were lifted because of warmer weather and the weak sterling continued to drive sales to overseas visitors.
“It was another month of solid sales results for London with other parts of the UK playing catch-up.”
Stephen Roberston, director general, British Retail Consortium
For the three months February through April, Central London like-for-like retail sales rose 5.5%, against a 0.4% increase across the UK as a whole.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “Sunshine and Easter didn’t give London sales growth the big boost they provided for the rest of the UK but that’s because the London figures were already well up on other parts of the country.”
He added: “Overall, London’s customers are proving more resilient to recession. Since the start of the year, London retail sales have consistently outperformed the country as a whole with average growth for the year so far of 5.7% compared with almost no growth for the whole UK and London continued that sort of performance into April.”
In London’s West End, footfall rose 3.1% in April, helped by domestic shoppers, according to New West End Company, which represents retailers in the West End. It said that warm weather and the continued weakness of the pound against the euro and the dollar encouraged UK shoppers to travel to the West End over the Easter holiday, instead of going abroad.