London’s West End to generate £11bn in turnover by 2020
London’s West End is set to generate £11bn annual turnover by 2020, fuelled by American flagship stores, the opening of the new tube extension, the Elizabeth line, and an increased spend by international visitors.
It wil be the first shopping area in the world to reach this level of turnover, the New West End Company (NWEC) said.
This will represent a significant increase in revenue as the shopping district currently generates £8.8bn in annual sales from its six hectares.
NWEC said the growth will be partly due to the recent openings of major US flagship stores.
US brands have opened 15 stores in the West End this year alone, including launches from Kate Spade, Michael Kors, Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Timberland, Sketchers and the re-opening of the Apple store. Additionally, Lululemon and Tory Burch are set to open flagship stores on Regent Street in the coming months.
Meanwhile this year American tourists spent more than they did last year boosted by events tailored to North American customers like the NFL Block Party, as well as by the weakened pound.
In the months immediately following the EU vote, the depreciation of the UK currency caused American sales to grow by 73% year-on-year, and this trend should continue with US tourists expected to be one of London’s highest spending groups during the Christmas period, said NWEC.
The area is also a hot-spot for Asian tourists with the district’s Golden Week reporting a 300% sales increase in September on a year-on-year basis.
The West End is set to benefit from the opening of the Elizabeth line at the end of 2018, which should bring an additional 60m visits each year, a 30% increase on the current 200m.
The line will run through the West End and bring Bond Street within half an hour of Heathrow Airport, allowing easier access for international visitors.
“The West End’s contribution to the UK’s overall economy is significant – a veritable ‘West End Powerhouse’ even when compared to other major locations and countries,” said Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, at a conference in New York.
“We are currently championing the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s “#LondonIsOpen” campaign outside the UK here at ICSC New York, to drive inward investment and keep open door policies and access to London’s West End.”
With £8.8bn in annual sales, London’s West End generates more GVA (Gross Added Value) for the UK economy than the City of London and is equal to the whole of Wales.
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