New West End Co expects London to see Eid sales spike
The end of Ramadan should drive a shopping surge in the West End of London, a prediction from the New West End Company shows.
Artjom Hatsaturjants, Senior Insight Analyst at NWEC, which represents 600 businesses in London’s key shopping area, said: “Middle Eastern visitors make up our top 10 international customers in the West End, especially among luxury brands and retailers. The end of Ramadan signals a period of celebrations and gift-giving at the beginning of June as Eid al-Fitr is celebrated around the world. This celebration is set to have a positive impact on retailers across the West End, and we estimate that international visitors will spend £13 million across the district in June, an increase of 53% from last year which saw a total spend of £8.5 million in the same period.
According to tax-free payments facilitator Global Blue, the average basket spend for Middle Eastern visitors is £1,447, with Qatar topping the spending list as each Qatari shopper spends an average £2,222 per trip. They’re followed by Saudi Arabians spending £1,400 and consumers from the United Arab Emirates spending £1,390.
London luxury and fashion stores depend heavily on tourist spending and after receiving a boost earlier in 2019 linked to the Chinese Lunar New Year, June is likely to see another spike.
Individual retailers have said that affluent Muslim tourists are key customers at this time of year with Ray Clacher, vice-president at Trinity, which controls tailors Gieves & Hawkes and Kent & Curwen, telling the Evening Standard that “the festival of Eid signals the start of the selling season.”
And Simon Cotton of cashmere specialist Johnstons of Elgin said Middle Eastern shoppers now make up 25% of its total London customer base, with a rise of more than 60% in the last year at its New Bond Street store.
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