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Olympic year to drive 3.5% increase in retail sales growth in London's West End

Olympic year is set to drive a growth in retail sales of 3.5% in London’s West End according to a new report released today.

GENERAL MERCHANDISE

Olympic year to drive 3.5% increase in retail sales growth in London's West End

Olympic year is set to drive a growth in retail sales of 3.5% in London’s West End according to a new report released today.

The 2012 Retail Outlook commissioned by New West End Company and compiled by Springboard, the footfall monitoring organisation, showed that West End retailers expect sales to reach £7.7 billion in 2012 with further momentum gained during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. 

The  report predicts that 17.8% of total annual additional retail spend will occur in June and July during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic Games and that West End retailers will  make an additional £16.6 million in revenue as a direct consequence of the Games.

In addition, it forecasts that the attraction of the West End to luxury  international shoppers is set to increase Bond Street’s share of West End revenue  from 12.6% to up to a fifth of shopper spend in the year.  It also found that the emerging MERC markets will become a new focus for 2012 with retailers targeting tailored promotional activity at this high-spending group.

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, said, "This forecast shows that as far as the West End goes we are due to see better economic times. The problem remains a pernicious and gloomy minority who continue to cast doubt from the sidelines on what are real opportunities for both London and the UK.  Ultimately the 2012 Olympics can help put the Great back into Britain and our latest forecasts indicate that the central  London retail economy is now likely to bounce back and can make a  strong contribution to these better times."

The New West End Company also reported that December retail sales in the West End increased by 6.8% year-on-year driving an annual sales uplift of 3.1% for the year.

The company said that West End sales and footfall growth was above the UK average of 3.1% and 1.7% respectively for the year.

In December, an £80 million incremental increase in annual spend was seen during VIP Weekend, 10 – 11 December, as shoppers took advantage of traffic-free shopping. Retailers reported sales of over £100 million between Boxing Day and New Year with footfall up 7.3% year-on-year during the period.

The New West End Company represents 600 retailers in the Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street area.

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