West End sees robust October high street sales

SALES at London’s West End shops remained robust during October despite the details of the government’s Comprehensive Spending Review acting to unnerve consumers.

According to lobby group the New West End Company, which is backed by major retailers and property owners in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, West End sales rose 7.7 per cent year-on-year. The outcome is well ahead of the 0.8 per cent rise across the rest of the UK reported by the British Retail Consortium.

Jace Tyrrell of the New West End Company said: “October was an interesting month as people prepared for the Comprehensive Spending Review. on the 20th. Retailers have reported that the anticipation translated into sluggish footfall and steady sales for the first three weeks.

“However, following the review, the final week of the month saw a 20% increase in foot flow as considered shoppers returned to the West End, and sales were boosted due to a strong family half term presence. ”

The figures come as department store group John Lewis – which also owns the Waitrose supermarket business – reported a strong week of trading ahead of the key Christmas season.