Last-minute Christmas shoppers to gift West End with £186m boost

West End Christmas

London’s West End is set to receive a £186 million boost as shoppers scramble to purchase last minute gifts during Christmas Eve weekend.

According to the New West End Company, which represents retailers in the capital’s Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street precincts, the final three days before Christmas will see deeper discounts and promotions on offer, including up to 50 per cent off at a number of stores.

Despite Brexit uncertainty and low consumer confidence, which has left shoppers holding back on spending this year, New West End said Christmas spend in the region is anticipated to be on par with 2017.

Meanwhile, the West End’s footfall for the weekend is expected to increase by 15 per cent compared to an average weekend.

At the start of the festive season, New West End forecast that £2.5 billion would be spent during the eight-week Christmas trading period.

“This year the last weekend before Christmas falls on the 22nd and 23rd, this is the second busiest weekend in the lead up to Christmas after Black Friday and make-or-break for many retailers,” New West End chief executive Jace Tyrrell said.

“We are anticipating that the 24th being a working day will result in more people staying in the city, and for in-store sales to reach £186 million for those three days (22nd, 23rd and 24th December) alone.

“2017 was one of the strongest Christmas trading periods we have seen in nearly a decade, and while retailers are facing stronger economic headwinds this year, London and the West End have remained resilient.

“As such we would expect sales over the Christmas Eve weekend to be roughly in line with 2017 totals.”

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