West End to see £136m spend over pre-Christmas weekend
As the UK gears up for its final shopping weekend before Christmas, a new prediction says that shoppers should spend £136 million in London’s West End on Saturday and Sunday.
The forecast comes from the New West End Company, the business partnership representing the neighbourhood’s retailers.
It said that despite the low consumer confidence that has left shoppers holding back on spending this year, “with more certainty following the general election”, the final weekend before Christmas is set to see not only a spending rise, but a healthy 6% footfall hike, reaching 1.7 million visitors.
‘Super Saturday’ should be the busiest day of the whole year with footfall likely to rise 12% week-on-week.
The optimistic forecast reflects the figures that were seen in the West End on Black Friday with footfall having risen 8.7% during that particular shopping event. While increased interest in Black Friday was driven by it coinciding with payday across the UK, for the West End in particular, it was helped by the high tourist levels in the area, as well as a high level of discounts.
Those discounts have continued and in the final weekend before Christmas, they will be averaging around 50%. But the appeal of the West End won't only be about markdowns, as one-of-a-kind experiences and exclusive promotions will also give shoppers a reason to visit the West End rather than anywhere else, NWEC said.
In November, New West End Company had forecast that £2.5 billion would be spent over the eight-week Christmas trading period. It’s unclear so far whether that forecast will be met or even exceeded.
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