Retailers across Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street are gearing up for a bumper Christmas, as spending is predicted to reach over 2.3 billion pounds over the festive period, which could make this the best Christmas since 2007. The predictions from the New West End Company
(NWEC), which represents over 600 businesses in the area, states that the shopping bonanza is expected due to consumers having higher disposable incomes and retailers lowering prices to help boost consumer confidence.
According to the NWEC’s Christmas Tracker Report, London’s main shopping streets are expecting a 1.2 percent uplift in spend during the last six key weeks of the year, while footfall is set to increase by 30 percent.
During the festive period, which has been extended to include Black Friday, which is once again predicted to break record sales, NWEC is predicting a surge in spending that equates to around 5.1 million pounds an hour, with the average spend estimated to rocket by 66 percent, according to the research conducted by Harper Dennis Hobbs.
To help cope with the festive shopping rush, NWEC said that 65,000 people have already been employed in the West End to copy with the extra number of people coming through their doors.
West End festive spend could reach 2.3 billion pounds
NWEC deputy chief executive Jace Tyrrell said: “The West End is an economic powerhouse for the UK, making a vital four per cent contribution to GDP in the last year alone. When every hour during our festive season is worth a collective £5.1m to West End retailers, it is easy to understand why the season is so tremendously important to the UK’s economic well-being.
“As we entered 2015, many retailers feared the worst – tough trading conditions and an uncertain political environment made prospects appear very bleak. And yet, as we head towards our busiest trading period, we now do so with confidence.”
Oxford Street’s Christmas lights are set to be turned on by Kylie Minogue this weekend, which is expected to lure consumers into the shopping area.
Images: Oxford Street Christmas Lights/Kylie Minogue