Home Business News Shoppers spend £280m in traffic-free West End

Shoppers spend £280m in traffic-free West End

by LLB Editor
12th Dec 11 9:09 am

Shoppers flocked to the West End’s traffic-free streets over the weekend and embarked upon a £280m spending spree, according to traders.

Central London retailers cut prices to entice customers into their stores during what is usually one of the busiest shopping weekends of the whole year.

The New West End Company, which represents around 600 retailers in Regent Street, Bond Street and Oxford Street, said more than £180m was spent by 1.5 million shoppers on Saturday. Around £200m was spent on the corresponding Saturday last year. However, the group predicted a further £100m would have been spent on Sunday, as the streets were free of cars for the first time. The projected overall weekend spending of £280m would be some £50m more than last year.

  • Read: West End parking charges “will cost businesses £800m”

New West End Company chief executive Richard Dickinson declared the weekend a success, as shoppers enjoyed the opportunity to shop traffic-free on Oxford Street and Regent Street while benefiting from discounts and giveaways.

Dickinson said: “Christmas has really gone off with a bang this weekend. Based on past experience we were confident that despite the slow start to seasonal spending, shoppers would get the tills ringing over the next two weeks but this weekend has exceeded expectations.

“Compared to VIP Day last year, when Sunday saw traffic come back into the area, retailers are reporting significant rise in sales, with winter fashion and technology the most popular items. It’s a real shoppers market out there with stores offering discounts of up to 50 per cent and the tactic is working with £20m going through the tills in the first three hours of Saturday’s trading.”

Customers queued outside Selfridges on Oxford Street on Sunday and waited for the store to open at 11.30am. Kindles, iPads, headphones, chocolates and candles were among the most popular items. All walk-up tickets available for Sunday’s grotto sold out within seven minutes of the store opening.

Store director Meave Wall said: “This weekend Selfridges has been flooded with shoppers stocking up on festive supplies ahead of the big day and gifts with big ticket technology items, such as plasma screens and anything Apple, being particularly popular. With traffic-free shopping proving a hit with shoppers as always, our figures demonstrate that Christmas sales have now gained real momentum and we’re confident December will be a positive month.”

Leave a Comment


Sign up to our daily news alerts

[ms-form id=1]