C-charge hits sales at John Lewis

John Lewis has appealed to central London retailers to stand up and be counted after independent research found the congestion charge had swiped at least 5 per cent off flagship sales.

According to Imperial College London, John Lewis Oxford Street underperformed by 5.5 per cent - possibly up to 8.2 per cent - as a direct result of the c-charge.

'This is not just a John Lewis issue,' said chairman Sir Stuart Hampson. 'Our assessment of serious economic consequences has been confirmed.'

JLP wants other retailers to contribute data to build evidence with which to fight enlargement of the scheme.

Transport expert Professor Michael Bell, who led the research, said there was no reason to suppose John Lewis was atypical. A poll of shoppers also confirmed they now visited Oxford Street less often. Bell will appear at the public inquiry into the proposed Edinburgh scheme.

BRC director general Kevin Hawkins said further analysis was required, adding input from House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer - which have stores on the edge of the zone - to build a clearer picture.

- The London Retail Consortium (LRC) lobbied London Mayoral candidates with the launch of a retail manifesto. The call to arms demands action on crime, transport and environmental problems. The LRC wants greater influence on policy-making after the Mayoral elections in June.