Weakest London sales growth this year
Stephen Robertson, Director General, British Retail Consortium, said: “It's no surprise this May's sales growth was weaker than last year's, which greatly benefited from the dramatic improvement in the weather. Despite this, London retailers outperformed the rest of the UK by a wide margin. And consumer confidence held up better in the capital than other parts of the UK.
“The sunny days boosted sales of clothing, footwear and outdoor living, but not as strongly as compared to last May - which was sunnier. The favourable exchange rate continued to attract overseas visitors to London, though Western European tourists tended to be more cautious about their spending.”
Helen Dickinson, Head of Retail, KPMG, added “These figures may look disappointing after the strong results of the first four months of the year, but central London does continue to outperform the rest of the UK. Stronger sales last year - May was one of the strongest months of 2008 - also impacted this month's results. We might have expected better figures as, while there are consumers struggling financially due to actual, or the prospect of, job losses, there are UK consumers with greater disposable incomes and a continuation of increased overseas visitors to the capital. Sales volatility appears to be the order of the day.”
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