London's West End expected to see last-minute surge
London’s West End is expected to get a £186 million boost during ‘Christmas Eve weekend’ (this Saturday through Monday) as consumers complete their last-minute Christmas shopping.
That’s according to the New West End Company (NWEC), the body that represents retailers in the area.
NWEC said that the large number of discounts available this year could be crucial in attracting people to Europe’s busiest shopping neighbourhood with price cuts of up to 50% at a number of stores.
The group said that “despite Brexit uncertainty and low consumer confidence, which has left shoppers holding back on spending this year, Christmas spend in the West End is anticipated to be on par with 2017, while weekend footfall is expected to increase by 15% compared to an average weekend.”
At the start of the year’s biggest season, it forecast that £2.5 billion was set to be spent over the eight-week Christmas trading period by the hundreds of thousands of shoppers who would visit the area.
Jace Tyrrell, NWEC Chief Executive, said today: “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. 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 £186m for those three days.
“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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