Footfall across London’s West End grew 19.2 per cent over the May bank holiday as UK shoppers favoured heading to the capital over holidaying abroad, according to new figures released today.
Over Saturday, Sunday and Monday, shopping in the area surged, resulting in more than £220 million being spent over the three-day break, a £20 million rise on the same period last year as Britons favoured ‘stay-cations’ as the UK reached its hottest temperatures so far this year.
Warm weather encouraged visitors to attend West End shows, galleries and restaurants as the start of the Summer brought consumers out in force, according to The New West End Company (NWEC) and Heart of Business Alliance.
Last week, the NWEC announced the upcoming appointment of new Chairman Sir Peter Rogers and unveiled plans to boost growth in the luxury shopping area.
Increasing campaigns and promotions to drive footfall is critical to the area’s growth, the group explained, as it makes preparations for an additional 20 million shoppers visiting Oxford Street upon completion of the Crossrail in 2018.
NWEC’s Jace Tyrrell applauded this weekend’s solid results, commenting: “This weekend was all about the UK shopper and what is being dubbed as the rise of the ‘day-cation’ trend, which sees domestic shoppers taking a day trip to the capital.
“The increase in domestic visitors and the long-awaited sunshine has bolstered trade for retailers, theatres and restaurants.
“Shopping has obviously been thirsty work – over 6,000 afternoon teas were sold in the West End on Saturday and we’ve seen record footfall numbers across the whole of the West End.
“Footfall across Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street was up by over 14.3 per cent year-on-year.”