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Snow blamed for London’s lowest-ever retail sales growth

PUBLISHED: 07:00 15 February 2010 | UPDATED: 15:36 05 October 2010

THE winter snows have hit the big stores hard with London’s retail sales growth the worst ever, latest figures out this-morning reveal. Retail expansion was only 3.5 per cent higher in January compared to a year ago

By Mike Brooke

THE winter snows have hit the big stores hard with London’s retail sales growth the worst ever, latest figures out this-morning reveal.

Retail expansion was only three-and-a-half per cent higher in January compared to a year ago when it shot up 6.5 per cent.

The stronger £ in January against the euro also lessened London’s price advantage’ enjoyed by Continental visitors 12 months ago.

It was the weakest year-on-year January performance on record, according to the British Retail Consortium.

“This 3.5 per cent growth is disappointing after a strong December, but not disastrous,” its Director General Stephen Robertson said.

“The wintry weather put people off going shopping in the first half of January and customers are becoming cautious again about spending when they don’t have to.

“But London retail sales are still significantly better than the rest of the UK.”

Food sales did well from the snow, ironically, as shoppers stocked up on basics as well as clothing, footwear and warm accessories.

But sales of luxuries and non-essentials took a dive.

Retailers are hoping the meagre 3.5 per cent growth is due to the snow keeping shoppers away rather than long-term financial gloom they see melting towards the spring.


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