West End Christmas spend to dip slightly but area will remain buoyant
today Nov 8, 2018
Spending across London’s West End is set to reach £2.5 billion over the eight-week Christmas trading period, with hundreds of thousands of shoppers expected to visit Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street during the festive season, despite the lure of online sales and lower tourist arrivals.
But that said, the forecast from the New West End Company includes a prediction that retailers will actually see a “marginal drop in spending” across the West End in 2018 compared to 2017. That’s despite inflation running close to 3%.
The reason is that last year, retailers benefited from the favourable exchange rates following the drop in the pound after the EU referendum - this boosted international spend a lot.
Yet NWEC is still upbeat and said that “despite Brexit uncertainty and low consumer confidence which has left consumers holding back on spending this year, retailers are hopeful for a positive end this Christmas to what has been a challenging year for trading.”
And perhaps it’s justified in this view as the challenging conditions for much of this year will make it a ‘buyers market’ so there will be plenty of discounts on offer to tempt consumers into stores.
More and more retailers are also catching on to the need for experiential elements in their offer and this is another feature that could encourage consumers away from their screens.
NWEC is also generally optimistic about next year as the debut of Crossrail and public realm enhancements are anticipated to increase annual turnover in the area to £12 billion by 2020.
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