London's West End reports strongest trading since March 2010
New West End Company and the Heart of London Business Alliance said that retail sales soared by 11% year-on-year in June with food and drink sales rising 4%.
The two bodies predict that the lift in sales will continue as the tourist season reaches its height in mid-July. In July 2010, 8.5 million people visited the West End and the two bodies said this figure is likely to increase this month with five weekends in the month increasing London's capacity for out-of-town visitors.
New West End Company and Heart of London Business Alliance said the most significant inbound visitor markets to the area would be from the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. The two bodies expect visitors from the Middle East to spend £210 million in the area this summer.
Jace Tyrrell of New West End Company said: "The summer months are incredibly important for West End retail as shopper spending reaches a mid-year peak around holiday season - as seen by the soaring sales figures in June. With a +6% hike in visitors last month and 600,000 extra visitors set to come into the West End in July, strong summer sales are set to keep tills ringing."
Margaret Newman, general manager of St Christopher's Place commented: "We've already started to see an increase in retailers and restaurants trading well in June, and with peak tourist season nearly here we're expecting a further growth in footfall throughout July, particularly as shoppers take advantage of the many alfresco food and drink offers in the area."
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