Retailers count cost of Team GB's Olympic success

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Retailers counted the cost of Team GB's record Olympic medal haul last month after the high street endured its worst sales this year, British Retail Consortium figures reveal.

They came amid more evidence of a growing North-South divide among retailers with twice as many empty shops in the North-west than in London, according to research from the Local Data Company.

The BRC said like-for-like sales fell 0.4 per cent during August as fans followed the exploits of Olympic stars rather than heading out to spend.

And the latest report from the LDC for the first half showed one in every five shops empty in the North-west, compared to just one in ten in London.