Iconic London department store Liberty has revealed that sales for the first 10 months of 2008 were ahead of comparative trading levels.

It said November’s trading “reflected the general retailing slowdown” but that sales in December “exceeded expectations and almost matched last year’s record Christmas”.

The retailer said its new e-commerce business “exceeded expectations and showed particularly significant growth in December”.

Liberty has cleared stock in preparation for a “major renovation” this month, which will involve redesigning and remerchandising two thirds of the building and is to be unveiled in February.

The retailer said sales at its first standalone Liberty of London luxury brand store on Sloane Street, which opened last year, have been “slower than anticipated” while it “secures market share and establishes the brand in the current more difficult retail environment”.

Liberty will reveal its annual results for the year to December 31, 2008, in March.