London’s fashion retailers for once played second fiddle to the regions when it came to sales over the Jubilee weekend.
Despite an estimated 2 million visitors having flocked to London’s West End for the four-day celebrations, some retailers have suggested that sales in London were below that of the rest of the country.
Andrew White, managing director of footwear retailer Jones Bootmaker, said that in its London stores over the weekend, sales were around 14% down on a like-for-like basis, against a backdrop of a 13% national increase in sales overall.
“Scotland and the North of the country traded particularly well,” he said. “As did the shopping centre locations outside of London. So it seems as though people who were in central London were there to celebrate the Jubilee while those outside London still went shopping.”
The chief executive of one high street womenswear retail group also said that sales in London had been slower than the rest of the country.
She said: “Although all areas were up in total - London and the South East had the smallest and most marginal increase. The Midlands and North of England were strongest areas of the country with the greatest like-for-like increases.”
Anthony Thompson, chief executive of lifestyle retailer Fat Face, said that sales across its London stores were less buoyant than the rest of the country.
“Celebrations [in the capital] overshadowed shopping,” he added.
The New West End Company, which represents over 600 businesses in London’s West End, said that hotels recorded strong occupancy rates for the weekend but that fashion sales in the West End were relatively slow. It expects visitors remaining in London for the full week to boost fashion sales throughout the rest of this week, however.
In terms of product categories, summer product continued to sell well despite poor weather throughout the weekend.
Thompson said that sales of high summer product hadn’t suffered because of the rain over the weekend, while White added that sandals continued to sell even though Sunday saw a lot of rain.
Pamela Shiffer owner of London premium womenswear indie Pamela Shiffer in Primrose Hill added: “The theme for red, white and blue was really evident. We were selling out of items in those colours.”