London Mayor Sadiq Khan urges shoppers to return to West End

London Mayor Sadiq Khan urges shoppers to return to West End
// Sadiq Khan urges Londoners to make a trip to West End to give the area much needed boost
// Less than half consumers feel comfortable shopping in the area, and less than a quarter feel ready to use public transport

London Mayor Sadiq Khan is urging shoppers to help give the West End’s retail precincts a much-needed footfall and sales boost by taking a trip into town.

It comes shortly after new figures from the New West End Company showed that footfall in West End was still 63 per cent down on the same time last year despite retail lockdown restrictions easing eight weeks ago.

The data shows that footfall has been rising slowly in the district since non-essential stores reopened on June 15 but with the lack of tourists and with most people still working from home, the figures have now plateaued at less than half of the usual levels.

READ MORE: London’s West End warns business rates will push retailers to quit area

The research also reveals that customers still lacked the confidence in visiting central London – while 43 per cent of consumers said they were confident in visiting West End retail stores, only 23 per cent felt comfortable about using public transport.

In addition, 74 per cent – almost three quarters – of UK consumers surveyed said they would be unlikely to visit Central London in the next month.

In response, Khan said: “For decades central London has been the economic engine of the UK, a cultural powerhouse, and a gateway for global tourism to the UK. But it now faces a real existential threat from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Until we have an operational vaccine in place social distancing will have to continue to protect people’s health, and with employers planning to continue home-working well into next year, the numbers of people visiting the West End will be reduced for many months ahead.

“As Mayor I’m doing all within my powers to help. This includes providing loans and funding directly to small businesses and ensuring TfL’s unprecedented range of safety and hygiene measures mean more passengers are now able to travel on London public’s transport network.”

New West End Company also said the district could face job losses of 50,000 and a loss of over £5 billion in annual sales if there is no boost to consumer confidence and an increase in the use in public transport.

“While we have seen a slow increase in footfall, our retail and hospitality businesses require further support in light of shoppers’ concerns,” New West Company chief executive Jace Tyrrell said.

“With few international visitors, the next couple of months will be a defining moment for hundreds of West End businesses and protection of jobs is our top priority.

“Instilling confidence in our valued local and domestic customers to come to central London will make a huge change to the hard-hit businesses across our district.

“We would call on the government to keep retail and hospitality front of mind and not forget the beating heart of the British economy as lockdown is eased.”

Click here to sign up to Retail Gazette‘s free daily email newsletter


  1. Get rid of the congestion and ULEZ zone charges and people will come to the west end again. Who wants to pay a small fortune to just go to the area by car, without parking charges when the items can be bought at larger superstores all around the surrounding areas cheaper because of high rates, with no parking charges for first two hours in most of them. Same goes for cinemas and restaurants meal cost double when parking is taken into consideration. Can’t even go in the evening or Sunday without being hit with pointless ULEZ charge and night time congestion charge.
    Take note as soon as there is an election for mayor you will be out of a job if things carry on like this Mr Kahn. You will most certainly not get my vote or those of many OAP friends if your extension of the ULEZ goes ahead costing older perfectly good cars £3000 extra a year to keep on the road in the whole of London, we don’t live in your subsidised existence but the real world.

    • You couldn’t have said it any better, he thought he could put the charges back and blame the government for making him to justify it.

  2. Have no intention of travelling into the west end until you scrap the weekend congestion charge.
    Your stupidity has killed the west end.

  3. How does he expect people there?!? Firstly the extended hour on the congestion charge and then the weekend congestion charge! YOU are the cause of the dead west end! And you don’t deserve your post of being the mayor

  4. If I have to go back into the office to work, and I work nights it will now cost me £30.00 A DAY due to new charges and time extensions. Over a month that’s almost the cost of my mortgage. ULEZ is pointless as is the congestion charg. Mr Khan, wake up, the previous comments are spot on. Public transport is outdated and expensive too. Scrap all charges and the public will have so much more cash to spend on the high street. Start living in the real world, please. The answer is not to tax the working man, but the stupidly rich, who probably pay less tax than the average pensioner since this ludicrous country taxes the state pension.

  5. Khan told us not to use public transport work from home. Then because he wasnt getting TFL funding he put up all road tax congestion charge. Now he wants us back. Go suck a Lemon you useless article.Who can afford to come in to london by vehicle. MP’s

  6. Scrap congestion and maybe you might. What stupidity extending congestion charges on the weekend and then think about the ridiculous parking charges. You’re killing business.

  7. Totally agree with all the comments above the mayor of London is killing the city. Can’t wait for the mayor elections next year he won’t be getting my vote.
    Cut the daily charges at the weekends.

  8. I was surprised to see in other articles, Khan apparently still has a massive poll lead. I am not sure who they asked, but the comments above were more in line with my personal sentiments. Extending the hours of operation of the congestion charge and narrowing roads in central London causing huge amounts of traffic, won’t encourage people back into town. It simply doesn’t make any sense. I won’t be coming back into town until things change.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here