The news comes against a strong comparative - sales in February last year rose 9.8 per cent as confidence continued to recover after the July 2005 bombings.
Central London footfall fell last month, but sales were stronger, said the LRC, with reports of people making fewer shopping trips, but spending more on each trip. Visitor numbers were higher than a year ago, with the bulk of shoppers coming from western Europe, although sales to visiting US shoppers picked up.
Spring clothing and footwear ranges enjoyed a good start, but winter stock proved harder to shift in the mild weather. Homewares slowed after the clearance sales ended, but there were reports of good trading for large electricals and furniture and accessories from some retailers.