London's iconic shopping district in Knightsbridge anticipates an "exceptional" turnout during the upcoming Christmas holidays, exceeding 2019 levels. The forecast, presented by the Knightsbridge Partnership, suggests a surge in total spending in the area, with Harrods and Harvey Nichols playing central roles.
The association notes a monthly average traffic increase of 27.7 percent from January to October, influenced by the easing of pandemic restrictions in 2022. Predictions for November and December envision footfall growth of 20 percent and 55 percent, respectively, compared to the same months in 2019.
Diane Wehrle's analysis, based on MRI OnLocation and Beauclair data, suggests that the rise in visitors may result in a double-digit increase in transaction value. Steven Medway, CEO of Knightsbridge Partnership, highlights the return of international big spenders to London, supported by a weaker pound. However, the halt to tax-free shopping by the English government poses a significant challenge, impacting the competitive advantage against Paris and Milan, where tourists can seek VAT refunds.
Harrods, despite positive financial results in the year to January 28, 2023, with increased turnover and operating profit, is still below pre-pandemic levels.