London Retail Sales Show Best Growth For Three Years
The BRCs London Retail Sales Monitor reports that sales in the capital were 13.3% higher, on a like-for-like basis, than November last year, posting the best growth since October 2006. Retail footfall in the capital was also 3.6% up on November 2008.
Gains came in homewares, furniture, clothing, footwear, fashion accessories and beauty products, with many encouraged to start their Christmas shopping early by sale events and widespread discounting.
And the weakness of the pound lured overseas shoppers to the capital, the report said, particularly from Western Europe, while an increase in visitors from China and Hong Kong also saw a resulting rise in spending.
Despite hailing the "great figures", BRC director-general Stephen Robertson said that it was important to remember that the growth is measured in comparison to sales falls in November last year, highlighting the fact that many retailers are trying to encourage customers to spend by using price cuts and promotional events.
In addition, he warned of "big uncertainties", and the potential effect of "tough measures" announced by the chancellor in the Pre-Budget Report.
However, Robertson said that the figures "show London retailers have had a very encouraging start to Christmas with even big ticket items doing well."
"Retailers will be hoping customers remain as resilient into the New Year," he added.