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Last minute Christmas shoppers to spend 136 million pounds in London's West End

By Don-Alvin Adegeest

20 Dec 2019

Retail

A dash for last minute Christmas shopping will see visitors to London’s West End spend 136 million pounds in final weekend.

The New West End Company, the business representing over 600 West End retailers, said an expected footfall of 1.7 million visitors over the coming days will be an expected 6 percent increase over 2018.

Super Saturday to be the busiest shopping day

‘Super Saturday’ is set to be the busiest day of the year with footfall increasing by 12 percent in comparison to the previous week. Analysts Springboard has predicted footfall will peak on Saturday at 10 percent higher than last Saturday and 3 percent higher than the same Saturday last year.

Diane Wehrle, insights director at Springboard, said: “Consumers clearly took advantage of early discounts to purchase Christmas presents, and are now waiting for discounts to deepen once again in the days immediately before Christmas as retailers do their best to shift unsold stock.”

“Super Saturday is once again expected to be the peak Christmas trading day, although with Monday and Tuesday still offering consumers opportunities to purchase last-minute gifts, its success will be more muted than if Christmas were landing on Monday or Tuesday when purchasing opportunities post-Saturday would be more limited.”

This higher trend reflects the positive figures seen on Black Friday, with footfall in the West End up 8.7 percent year-on-year. A number of factors contributed to this, including payday falling the day before Black Friday, high levels of tourism in the area in the lead up to Christmas, and unparalleled discounts across West End stores.

Over the course of the final Christmas weekend, retailers on Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street will be offering one-of-a-kind experiences, deeper discounts of up to 50 percent and exclusive promotions in their West End flagship stores to entice last minute shoppers before their pre-Christmas travels.

Artjom Hatsaturjants, Head of Insights at New West End Company, said: “After the success of Black Friday which saw shoppers making the most of the breadth of discounts, the last weekend before Christmas is set to see 1.7 million shoppers spending 136 million pounds across London’s West End. With the general election now complete, we anticipate sales to reach their peak as the nation turn their attention to Christmas.” In November, New West End Company forecast that 2.5 billion pounds is set to be spent over the 8 week Christmas trading period as hundreds of thousands of shoppers visit the area as a result of the unparalleled, West End only experiences and professional product expertise.

Image: Oxford Street via New West End Company