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BRC - Best December for at least 7 years

Retail sales in central London in December were 12.0% higher on a like-for-like basis than a year ago, when sales had fallen 0.7%, as financial turmoil hit consumer confidence especially in the City.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

BRC - Best December for at least 7 years

This was the best December since the survey began in 2002.Retail footfall in December fell back below its year-earlier level, to show the weakest performance since September. Wintry weather and less discounting than a year ago meant people made fewer shopping trips but it seems those that did get out spent more.Sterling's weakness continued to attract overseas visitors, especially from western Europe, China and the Middle East. Chinese visitors in particular were much more numerous than a year ago.

Food sales held up well. Clothing and footwear were driven by wintry weather as well as gift buying. Beauty products and jewellery were popular. Homewares showed gains for many but against a very weak December 2008. Big-ticket items such large electricals and furniture did well in clearance sales.

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