A study by the British Retail Consortium has found that London has seen its worst January since 2005.
Retail sales were just 3.5 per cent higher than the same period in 2009, which saw sales grow by 6.5 per cent year-on-year.
Non-essentials and discretionary items, such as consumer electronics, were hit the hardest, though gained some sales due to clearances, while food and warm clothing sales performed well, thanks mostly to the snowy weather conditions.
“After an exceptionally strong December this growth is disappointing, but not disastrous,” said the director general of the BRC, Stephen Robertson. “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 showing real terms growth and significantly outperforming the rest of the UK.
“The capital’s retailers will be hoping these results are mainly due to bad weather, rather than any long-term return to concerns about personal finances, keeping consumers away from shops.”