Footfall remains stubbornly low in London’s West End
New figures have revealed that the number of people visiting London’s West End has remained stubbornly low since the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.
Latest data from New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses across Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street and Mayfair, shows visitors to the shopping district are down 56% year-on-year three months on from the reopening of non-essential retail stores.
New West End Company said footfall had been rising steadily before July, but the improvement seems to have stalled with figures up only 1% on August.
The district has been impacted by office workers not returning to their desks and an absence of international tourists who usually make up a third of all visitors and account for 45% of spend.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, said: “West End retailers and hoteliers have shown remarkable resilience in retaining staff in the expectation of the return of commuters and tourists. Within the West End without focused and coherent support the government is risking up to 50,000 job losses before the end of the year.”
“Yet rather than offering hope, the Treasury is making things worse by scrapping tax relief for overseas visitors. If we are to help the 2.5 million across the country who remain on furlough back into the shops, restaurants, hotels where they previously worked we should not be boosting the tourism industry of Paris and Rome by closing our doors to international visitors.”
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