BRC - London retail's worst January for five years
Retail sales in central London in January were 3.5% higher on a like-for-like basis than a year ago, when sales had risen 6.5%. This was the worst January sales growth since 2005.
Retail footfall in January fell well below its year-earlier level, to show the weakest January performance ever. Very cold snowy weather and less discounting than a year ago meant people made fewer shopping trips but it seems those that did get out spent more.
The stronger pound in January lessened London's price advantage for visitors from western Europe. Chinese visitors were still more numerous than last year, though the Chinese New Year falling later this year may have delayed sales for some.
Food sales benefited from the snow, as shoppers stocked up on basic essentials. Non-essentials and discretionary homewares struggled, though showed gains for some in clearance sales. Clothing, footwear and warm accessories were driven by the very cold and snowy weather.
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