London footfall disappoints during Games

Footfall in London decreased during the Olympic Games despite the influx of tourists to the city over the two week period, according to the latest findings.

While visitors flocked to East and West London, shops failed to entice customers in store, reporting a 9.6 per cent and 2.9 per cent year-on-year drop in footfall respectively in the first week of the event, according to data analyst group Experian‘s latest Footfall Index.

While these figures improved slightly in the second week, with the East End seeing an 8.6 per cent decrease as the West End saw a 0.9 per cent improvement on the previous year, this will do little to assuage concerns on the state of the fragile retail sector.

Steve Richardson, Regional Director, UK, Experian said: “The unparalleled sporting event for a generation brought huge numbers of visitors into London, although their impact in terms of expenditure in the shops remains to be seen.”

This follows news that the success of Team GB‘s Brownlee brothers, who took gold and bronze medals in the Triathlon event last week, boosted footfall and sales in the capital, with footfall in the West End jumping 13.5 per cent last Tuesday following the win.

With the Olympics now over and anticipation building for the Paralympic Games later this month, retailers will be hoping that those seeking Games memorabilia will help drive sales.

Following the Closing Ceremony which featured music by top British acts, entertainment retailer HMV said yesterday that it is anticipating a surge in sales of music by those included such as the Spice Girls, Elbow and Emeli Sande.

A spokesperson for the beleaguered retailer commented: “With British music at the heart of the Closing Ceremony it‘s likely we‘ll see another surge in album sales of many of the featured artists.

“We also expect the official soundtrack to the closing ceremony, ‘A Symphony of British Music‘ to be one of the big sellers over the next few weeks as the British public seeks to hang onto the feel-good factor generated by the games, especially once the CD hits record shops in a few days time.

“With its huge appeal to sports fans and people of all ages desperate to keep alive the abiding memories of London 2012 and the stunning feats of TeamGB, the Official BBC highlights, which are due out later this year on DVD, already looks set to be the no.1 gift item for this Christmas.”


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