January retail sales were boosted by shoppers tempted out with new year offers and promotions, new figures show.
The British Retail Consortium said like-for-like sales grew at the fastest rate since December 2011, up 1.9% on the previous year, as shoppers also bought televisions, tablet computers and smartphones.
BRC director general Helen Dickinson said that while sales suffered during last month's cold snap, it was short-lived and failed to cancel out the positive showing across the month.
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Nearly 38,000 runners will hope to complete Sunday's London Marathon making it the biggest event in its 35-year history.
Rain across central Britain with longer, intense downpours with thunder in places this evening. A lucky few will stay sunny and dry.
Planning on going to the London Marathon tomorrow? Read our handy guide first!