Shoppers in London’s West End were undeterred by cold weather over the Easter break as spend in the area over the three shopping days totalled £130 million, according to figures released today.
Over the Bank Holiday weekend, footfall across the capital’s three main shopping streets leapt 3.9 per cent compared with the same period last year, while Oxford Street reported a record breaking increase in footfall of 15 per cent on Easter Monday as tourists flocked to the area to buy gifts.
International shoppers from America, Germany, France and the Nordic Countries helped boost footfall over the weekend with Bond Street noting a 6.3 per cent year-on-year rise in footfall from tourists over the three days.
“Despite reports of domestic travellers making last minute overseas trips, and concern amongst businesses that the cold weather would keep shoppers at home, shoppers were out in force in London’s West End with some retailers reporting double digit growth,” said New West End’s Director Jace Tyrell.
“It was a ‘Mega Monday’ on Oxford Street as shoppers took to the streets, equating to a huge 15 per cent footfall leap in visitors compared to Easter Monday 2012.
“Shoppers were making the most of the weekend and the winter season sales as retailers reported record sales in beauty products from both international big spenders and domestic shoppers looking for a winter pick-me-up. ”
Easter is traditionally a key holiday period for US and European tourists, bringing optimism to the capital as a favourable exchange rate also boosted growth.
Highlighting the popularity of high-end goods among tourists, luxury department store Liberty reported a sales rise of 20 per cent across the two days, driven by international shoppers and the retailer’s Head of Communications Kate Brindley explained the trend is set to continue.
“With a 15 per cent increase in American shoppers visiting Liberty so far this year, this weekend is set to see a further influx as the USA goes on vacation and celebrates spring break.
“Liberty’s leading position as an emporium filled with eclectic British brands has meant that American tourists have become accustomed to sourcing special gifts and mementos for friends and loved ones within our hallowed mahogany halls, Liberty print gifts in particular do exceptionally well.”