Footfall improves in London’s West End as more people return to the office
London’s West End saw a 12% improvement in footfall between the first and last weeks in August compared to 2019 as it benefited from more people returning to the office.
According to figures from New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses in the shopping district, footfall grew by 3% in the first week of the month and by 8% in the last.
In addition, a consumer pulse survey by the organisation has revealed that 91% of people questioned said they wished to return to the office in some capacity, while 75% acknowledged that they would continue to work from home for some of the week.
The study also found that the biggest driver for people returning to work was missing the social aspects of working in the office. In addition, younger people were identified as the most likely to return to the office, with 95% saying they would do so either full or part time.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “An increasing number of office workers are beginning to return to the West End now that restrictions have been lifted, but we need more businesses to heed the wishes of their employees in order to stimulate the capital’s recovery.
“It is precisely these social outlets – including the West End’s world-famous restaurants and bars – that need custom from returning office workers if they are to survive and subsequently thrive.
“The last 18 months have undoubtedly forever changed the environments in which people work, but more must be done to encourage workers to return in some capacity. Whether it leads to a quick trip to the shops or a long-overdue lunch with colleagues, every returning office worker will play a vital role in the high street and economy’s recovery.”
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