London's retailers significantly outperformed those in the rest of the UK in December according to figures published today, with like-for-like sales 7.1% higher than a year earlier.

However, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said this was lower than the 9.8% year-on-year increase in December 2006.

Retail footfall also slowed in December, falling further below its year-earlier level and was weaker than in the UK as a whole, the BRC said.

Clothing and footwear sales remained difficult overall, despite widespread discounting, although designer fashions and accessories continued to perform well.

Kevin Hawkins, LRC director, said: "London retailers discounted early and deep to tempt hard-pressed customers in; great for bargain hunters but an indication of a very tough start to 2008 for those retailers being squeezed between rapidly rising costs and falling shop prices."