Luxury lift for West End

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The Independent Online

British luxury brands are luring big spenders to London's West End, even as high streets across the rest of the country feel the pinch from government austerity measures.

Retail sales in Bond Street and Regent Street saw a whopping 5.8 per cent rise last month, says the New West End Company, which represents 600 shops in the area. The jump is more than double the 2.3 per cent nationwide sales rise reported by the British Retail Consortium last week.

Beverley Aspinall, at the upmarket retailer Fortnum & Mason, said British designer brands were a key factor. "Luxury British brands have held up really well in recent months and there is a global interest in British brands," she said.

Menswear was also a top performer last month, with the high-end tailor Brooks Brothers reporting that premium suit sales rose by a quarter.