West End retailers anticipate £2.34 billion Christmas sales boost
The organisation’s annual Christmas tracker report is forecasting that till receipts for the Christmas trading period, which kick starts this Sunday when the Christmas lights are switched on across the West End, will rise by 1.6% year-on-year to £2.34 billion.
New West End Company said tourists are continuing to flock to London’s retail heartland to make the most of the weakened pound post-Brexit. Jewellery sales in the West End celebrated a 20% increase year-on-year from August 2015, whilst luxury goods sales were up 35% year-on-year in September. Led by Chinese, Saudi and American visitors, the average spend-per-tourist reached highs of £1,155 in September according to Global Blue.
However, domestic consumers are expected to be less quick to fill their stockings following a tumultuous year of uncertainty.
In addition, overall footfall in the West End is predicted to decrease by 3.1% year-on-year due to changing consumer trends as shoppers engage in multi-channel purchasing, reducing their number of trips to the high street but increasing transactions per visit. New West End Company said that high street fashion chains are expected to feel this most keenly due to a decrease in demand for clothing which has seen in-store fashion sales falling for the past four months.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, said: “We’re looking forward to a buoyant festive season – cheered on by foreign spend and a steady uplift in domestic confidence.
“However the New Year will ring in numerous challenges for our retail heartland and we will need full support from the Government on critical issues such as business rates to ensure we can continue to strengthen the UK economy as Article 50 is triggered, and we enter two years of uncertainty as negotiations to leave the EU begin.”
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