Retailers in London’s popular West End are anticipating a staggering £100 million to be taken at the tills over the next 48 hours as last-minute shoppers dash to make Christmas purchases.
According to the New West End Company, consumers will be enticed into shops thanks to promotions and discounts in the hope of securing a bargain, and as today is pay day for a majority of workers, this is predicted to spur spending.
An estimated 80 per cent of the 400,000 shoppers expected to visit stores in the capital’s premier shopping destination are expected to be male, as a ‘man dash’ occurs as men panic over festive preparations, and many retailers are hoping for a surge in sales of gifts for women.
Simon Fowler, Managing Director of John Lewis Oxford Street, commented: “Tradition dictates that during these last few shopping days before Christmas, we’ll see a flurry of male customers rush through our doors at John Lewis Oxford Street.
“ Lingerie, beauty, jewellery and watches are all expected to be popular with these customers and our expert Partners will be on hand to ensure shoppers get that perfect last-minute gift for all the family.”
This anticipated rise in sales follows a slow start to December but footfall figures for the week commencing December 12th 2011 lifted 4.8 per cent on the previous week.
November proved a disappointing month for the area, as the company announced a 2.6 per cent year-on-year dip in sales and staged London’s longest 30-hour Carol-A-Thon in Oxford Circus to encourage festive shoppers to spend.
Jace Tyrrell from the New West End Company, said that there are further tricks up retailer’s sleeves in the pre-Christmas rush and for the all-important post-Christmas sales.
“Christmas has well and truly kicked off in London’s West End and retailers are pulling out all the stops to entice final sales during these last crucial shopping hours,” he said.
“The West End flagships are bringing forward certain merchandise to capture the male audience and last payday shopper audience, knowing that designer perfumes, luxury cosmetic, handbags, lingerie and fashion accessories are going to be the big hitters with these shoppers.
“However, West End retailers are already hotly anticipating the Boxing Day sales. Although a tube strike is threatened, we anticipate over 700,000 shoppers will hit the Oxford Street sales, putting over £50 million through the tills and helping retailers to maximise their end of year profits.”