Super Saturday promises £50m turnover for London's West End
Retailers in London’s West End are expecting Christmas Eve to be one of its busiest ever with 900,000 visitors and turnover reaching £50million.
Figures released by the New West End Company show that West End retailers have enjoyed a strong Christmas trading period to date, with sales in November soaring by 13.9% year-on-year.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “We’ve witnessed a fantastic trading environment in the run up to Christmas, with November and Black Friday weekend exceeding all expectation and continuing to show growth on this time last year.
“We expect a significant trading day on Christmas Eve, boosted by continued international spend and the traditional ‘last minute dash’.”
Black Friday has been the busiest trading day for the West End with a 2% increase in footfall. The discount day extended over the whole weekend this year, with footfall for the four-day period from Black Friday to Cyber Monday reaching 3,654,056 – an uplift of 5.1% from the same period in 2015.
The luxury sector saw strong sales as trade was driven by international shoppers taking advantage of the weak Pound following the EU referendum vote. Bond Street sales were up 34.3% year-on-year in November whilst footfall rose by 4%.
Luxury sales in the wider West End rose by 51% year-on-year with jewellery seeing a 19.7% increase.
Meanwhile, retail sales in Oxford Street were up 13.6% in November whilst Regent Street saw a 14.3% uplift.
As the shopping district benefited from international spend from countries in Asia, Chinese tourist spend nearly doubled year-on-year while spend from Hong Kong surged by 138%.
Looking ahead, Tyrrell added a note of caution saying: “The longterm impact of Brexit is yet to be determined and price normalisation will offset the positive effect we’ve witnessed in the second half of this year. This, combined with business rate increases of up to 80%, will mean a challenging year ahead for West End retail.”
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