London stores boost as tourists return after volcanic ash dies down

RETAIL sales in the London stores have risen by 11.5 per cent while the national average has slumped, compared to this time last year. Tourists began to return last month after April’s Icelandic volcanic ash disruption eased off

By Mike Brooke

RETAIL sales in the London stores have risen by a massive 11-and-a-half per cent while the national average has slumped compared to this time last year, latest indicators show.

Tourists began to return last month after April's Icelandic volcanic ash disruption eased off.

The stores were struggling 12 months ago with a paltry sales rise of just 1.7 per cent on the previous year on a like-for-like basis, with the country struggling with the recession.

But Sterling's weakness on world money markets has attracted overseas visitors, especially from western Europe, China and the Middle East, while retail sales in the rest of Britain were down on average by just under one per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium.


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"London retail sales bounced back sharply after April's slowdown," the consortium's Director General Stephen Robertson pointed out.

"The return of overseas tourists after the flight disruption along with sunnier weather produced the strongest London sales growth since Christmas."

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The Retail Consortium is urging the Chancellor to ensure his measures don't undermine London's revival when he unveils his emergency budget next Tuesday.

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