London retailers buck gloom

Central London retailers bucked the national downward trend for sales last month, posting growth of 8.2 per cent compared with May 2007.

Outside the West End, sales rose by just 1.9 per cent, according to the British Retail Consortium.

Footfall rose by just 2.2 per cent, trailing central London footfall growth by around 9 per cent.

Beneficiaries of the strong results will include a number of new retail developments on Oxford Street.

One of the biggest is 315-319 Oxford Street and 23-30 Dering Street, WC1. The Legal & General-owned corner site is currently being demolished to create a five-storey building with a basement.

Retail units are planned for the basement, ground and first floors as well as on part of the third and fourth floors, though individual applications from stores have not yet emerged.

The strong retail results, which represent central London retailers’ best performance since February 2007, are being attributed to promotions, warm May weather and shoppers from the continent taking advantage of the strong euro.

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