London’s West End continues strong performance with 65 new stores in 2017
The data from New West End Company, the Business Improvement District for the area, reveals that this was up from 52 for the whole of 2016.
New stores in the shopping district include ASICS's largest global store on Regent Street, Polish fashion retailer Reserved's first UK store on Oxford Street and luxury handbag retailer Delvaux's boutique on New Bond Street. In addition, technology giant Microsoft has chosen to open its first ever European store at Oxford Circus.
New West End Company is predicting a successful end to the year for West End retailers. Till receipts are forecast to rise by 1.5% to £2.61 billion in the six-week Christmas period, driven by international shoppers taking advantage of the weaker pound following the Brexit referendum.
Its figures show that of the 200 million visits to London every year, 25% are international tourists, spending £3.5 billion every year. Sales to non-EU tourists went up by 28% between July and August, driven by sales to Chinese tourists.
2018 will be a transformational year for the West End of London as the new £16 billion railway Crossrail opens two stations along its main shopping street Oxford Street. The 'Elizabeth Line' is forecast to bring an extra 60 million additional visitors and increase turnover by £1 billion each year by 2020.
Last week New West End Company unveiled its vision for the area for the next three years, which is due to be voted on by West End businesses in December. The plan will see New West End Company work to secure £50 million of government funding for public realm projects on Bond Street and Oxford Street and £25 million business investment to the West End and deliver West End wide Wi-Fi.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company said: "While many retailers are concerned about the economic future, the West End is in the strongest position to grow as the UK leaves the EU.
"With spending by international shoppers increasing and the Elizabeth Line delivering millions of new visitors and an extra £1 billion in turnover each year, the West End remains the place for retail investment. New West End is focused on maximising these opportunities, whether through advocating for changes to business rates, or securing funding for regeneration projects to make sure every visitor to London has a positive experience of the unrivalled wealth of shopping, leisure and cultural opportunities on offer."
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