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London continues to buck sales trend

Published: 16 September 2008
Figures from BRC indicate restaurants and fashion the main beneficiaries as rain and discounts force shopper indoors.
Retail sales in central London showed an 8.2% year-on-year rise, on a like-for-like basis, during August.

The capital's continuing healthy performance - it outperformed the UK as a whole, where like-for-like sales fell 1.0% below their August 2007 level - was aided by the 'miserable' August weather and high fuel costs.

"Indoor London shopping was more attractive than outdoor leisure or trips further afield," Stephen Robertson, director general of the British Retail Consortium said.

He added that heavy discounting, tourist spending and Londoners' greater resilience to the slowdown kept sales growing.

Beneficiaries were department stores, in-store restaurants, designer fashions and accessories.

Food sales also held up, partly reflecting the impact of higher food prices. Some special sales and discounts helped clothing and footwear but big-ticket items such as furniture and large electricals remained tough.

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