Central London retail sales up ten per cent


Central London retail sales up ten per cent
Retail sales in central London were up 10.3 per cent on last year's figures, according to the London Retail Sales Monitor report.

The report, prepared by the London Retail Consortium (LRC) and auditing firm KPMG, states that like-for-like sales were helped by a higher number of visitors to the capital even though a decrease in the number of trips made to stores was reported.

LRC director Kevin Hawkins said: "This is a good result, reflecting the continued recovery in overseas tourist footfall which began last year. However, it also reflects the decision by several West End stores to bring forward their July clearance sales into June, so the comparatives look better than they otherwise would have been."

KPMG head of retail Helen Dickinson said that the football World Cup and hot weather contributed to low footfall seen in June 2006 and thus the improvements 12 months later were "not surprising".

"Central London continues to outperform the rest of the UK, but there remains a wide variation in the performance of individual retailers," she added.

An increase was also reported in the number of shoppers visiting the city with west Europeans and Russians forming the bulk of tourists.

The wet weather this June adversely affected sales of clothing and footwear, especially high street fashion. However top-end ranges as well as designer handbags, jewellery and watches continued to sell well.

Textiles and accessories sold well and furniture and larger items showed good gains in some areas, but others showed signs of consumer caution.

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