Like-for-like retail sales in central London rose 3.7 per cent during January, well below the 6.6 per cent posted last year, according to a report by the London Retail Consortium.
Retail footfall showed a modest improvement from December, but remained lower than a year ago and weaker than the UK as a whole. Footfall slowed again after the clearance sales.
Clothing and footwear sales remained difficult for most, though fashion accessories were popular. Premium beauty held up well, but homewares, especially larger purchases, continued to be hit by weak consumer confidence.
BRC director general Stephen Robertson said: “London’s January sales growth was the second weakest annual growth since November 2005. Widespread price cuts gave a boost to clothing, footwear and small homeware items, although usually at the expense of margins. Last week’s rate cut has come at the right time but, given these figures, more cuts will be needed to encourage London’s shoppers to spend and ensure the slowing economy lands softly.”