Olympics boost for West End

RETAIL sales are set to rise 3.5 per cent this year thanks to the Olympics and Jubilee, New West End Company predicted yesterday.

Shopkeepers believe sales will hit £7.7bn in 2012 with the key events offsetting a slow start to the year.

More than £2bn of sales is expected to come from luxury-seeking international shoppers who account for one third of footfall in the area.

In 2011, West End sales rose by 3.1 per cent against national growth of 0.1 per cent.