London retailers get a capital boost while rest of UK drops

DESPITE recovery in the UK retail sector slowing in May, London continued to outperform the rest of the country, according to fresh data out today from the British Retail Consortium (BRC).<br /><br />Like-for-like sales for May were 1.6 per cent higher in London than a year earlier, compared with a 0.8 per cent fall across the rest of UK.<br /><br />However, the sales rise was much lower than the stellar period during April, which benefited from the later Easter, and the 8.5 per cent like-for-like sales jump recorded for the same period last year.<br /><br />BRC director general Stephen Robertson said:&nbsp; &ldquo;It&rsquo;s no surprise this May&rsquo;s sales growth was weaker than last year&rsquo;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.&rdquo;<br /><br />Separate figures out today from the West End Company said that footfall&nbsp; dropped by 13.5 per cent for the first two weeks of May in London, but the second half of the month was boosted by 1m visitors descending on Oxford Street during a promotional traffic free bank holiday weekend.<br />