London mayor tries to halt slide in shop sales


BRITAIN: The mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, is to launch a multimillion-pound campaign to draw people back to the city's main West End shopping streets following last month's London suicide bombings.

Plans for the campaign emerged as shopkeepers warned that public fears about shopping in central London could wipe millions off Christmas sales if left unchecked.

The British Retail Consortium was expected to announce that sales in central London were down 9 per cent in July compared to the same time last year. There was also evidence that people are particularly afraid of shopping on Thursdays, the day selected twice by bombers to strike in the capital. Last Thursday the numbers of shoppers were down 28 per cent year-on-year.

The Greater London Authority said yesterday that it plans to launch a high-profile marketing campaign to kickstart sales. Actions being considered include discounted or free transport into the city centre. - (Guardian service)