West End retailers are expecting a £2.34bn boost from Christmas this year

Helen Cahill
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Christmas Arrives As Oxford And Regent Street Turn On Their Lights
The Christmas lights on Oxford Street will be attracting shoppers to the West End (Source: Getty)

The West End is expecting some healthy takings at the till this Christmas - the most important time of year for retailers.

The New West End Company has forecast that till receipts will rise 1.6 per cent year-on-year this Christmas, hitting £2.34bn.

Average takings are expected to come to £51.1m per day during the peak period for the sector.

Tourists are flooding into London and the West End to take advantage of the weak pound. In September, luxury goods sales were up 35 per cent year-on-year, and the bumper spending has been led by travellers from China, Saudi Arabia and America.

Read more: West End gets Brexit boost as sales to tip over £9bn for the first time

The New West End Company said retailers are also likely to benefit from low interest rates and an increase in so-called staycations, which businesses will be hoping translate into higher spending.

But retailers' celebrations will be muted as they keep a cautious eye on how the UK's economic environment is set to change when the bumper season comes to a close.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, said: “We’re looking forward to a buoyant festive season – cheered on by foreign spend and a steady uplift in domestic confidence.

“However the New Year will ring in numerous challenges for our retail heartland and we will need full support from the Government on critical issues such as business rates to ensure we can continue to strengthen the UK economy as Article 50 is triggered, and we enter two years of uncertainty as negotiations to leave the EU begin.”

“We are entering our most critical trading period in a very good position, with strong spend growth from both our domestic and international customers," said Sue West, director of operations at Selfridges. "Selfridges has a very exciting Christmas programme, which has been designed to deliver extraordinary customer experiences."

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