Trade at retailers based on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street in London saw sales rise 3.8 per cent year-on-year in December, results published today revealed.
New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in the West End area, reported that although snow did affect trading in the first half of the month, central London trading was over four per cent higher than the UK wide average over the whole period.
December’s national retail sales figures, as reported by the British Retail Consortium and KPMG, showed a 0.3 per cent fall in like-for-like trade across the country.
Richard Dickinson, CEO of New West End Company, commented: “After the snow, retailers benefitted from a surge of shoppers during the final crucial days in the run up to Christmas.
“Later, as a result of the sales, the West End saw huge volumes of shoppers descend towards the end of the month providing a welcome end of year lift.”
Although many retailers have blamed the snow for poor trading figures for the Christmas period, consumer confidence was also a downward pressure on spending both before and after the seasonal festivities.
A report released last week compiled by international consumer research specialists Intersperience, found that four out of ten consumers said economic uncertainty made them more frugal during December.
Regional divides in shop vacancies show how successful retail is becoming more concentrated in affluent and metropolitan areas, and these latest figures from West End Company seem to suggest that the trend is continuing.