December Like-for-Likes were up 17% compared to the same period in 2021. While the figure represents a significant increase on the previous year, December 2021 was marred by a wave of Omicron, washing out trade for many operators.

Despite rail strikes causing disruption for much of the capital, London sales were up 32%, with the increase being driven equally by food and drink boosts.

Outside of London, like-for-likes were up 15%, with food up 13% and drink up 16%.

The research, that compares sales performance of sites that traded for over 20 days in December 2021 and 2022 also identified a large number of operators that were not included in the figures as they were unable to trade at all, or to a very limited extent in 2021, meaning that real like for likes would be higher when taking 2021 closures into account.

Richard Hartley, Chief Innovation Officer at S4labour, commented, “Double digit increases will be a cause for celebration for the industry, however, the figures also put last year’s Christmas into stark perspective.”

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