Latest BRC figures reveal retail sales up 4.2% in October, giving cause for "greater optimism" among the capital's retailers.
Retail sales in central London were up 4.2% in October on a like-for-like basis, compared with a year ago when sales had fallen 2.6%, reported the BRC-KPMG London Retail Sales Monitor for October 2009. The rest of the UK saw a 3.8% increase in October.
Retail footfall in the capital was also higher than the same period a year ago, boosted by unseasonably mild weather, as well as half-term and Halloween. The pound's weakness against the euro also continued to attract overseas shoppers to London's streets.
British Retail Consortium (BRC) director general Stephen Robertson commented: "These are the first solid signs that it will be a better retail Christmas than 2008. London sales were well up on the dismal performance of a year ago and outperformed the rest of the UK, though not to quite the same extent as in recent months. Consumer confidence in the capital was stronger than the rest of the country."
Homewares benefited from a rise in consumer confidence and good news in the housing market, said the report. However, the gains were against a weak October in 2008 and were often discount-driven.
KPMG head of retail Helen Dickinson said: "The next few weeks will be crucial for retailers but these latest figures should hopefully be cause for greater optimism."