Stonking start to summer in London’s West End

The fortunes of retailers in London’s West End were lifted in June, as sales soared by 11% year-on-year – a record month – in stark contrast to the -0.6% sales slump on UK High Streets.  New West End Company, representing 600 retailers on Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, today reports the strongest sales month in London’s West End since March 2010.

With international visitor levels due to peak in the last two weeks of July, two of the most significant inbound visitor markets to the area – United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia – will head to London’s West End during the pre-Ramadan period.  Set to spend £210m in the West End this summer and spending up to £2,000 per person, Middle Eastern visitors come for the all-round luxury experience – taking advantage of the night-time offer of shopping, staying and eating in some of the best venues in the capital.

Jace Tyrrell, New West End Company, says: “The summer months are incredibly important for West End retail as shopper spending reaches a mid-year peak driven by holiday visitors. With a 6% hike in shoppers last month and 600,000 extra visitors set to come to the West End in July, strong summer sales are set to keep tills ringing.”

Karen Baines, Heart of London Business Alliance, which represents over 200 businesses within the leisure and entertainment industry in Piccadilly Circus and Leicester Square adds: “Already in July we saw our strongest weekend visitor numbers of 2011, and anticipate that the tourist peak this month will ensure July is a strong month for the night-time economy of the West End.


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