West End shops go traffic-free this weekend

REGENT Street and Oxford Street will be vehicle-free between 10am and 6pm this Saturday, allowing millions of Londoners to indulge in Christmas shopping on foot.

Stores are offering up to 50 per cent off and opening as early as 8am, as they compete for the attention of an anticipated two million shoppers.

By VIP Day (“Very Important Pedestrians”) many consumers will have received their last pay cheques before Christmas.

Promoters of the event are predicting that sales will exceed £250m across the weekend.

Retailers hope that special offers will tempt people into splashing out for the holiday period — and in particular before VAT increases to 20 per cent in the New Year.

Shops will be creating a festival atmosphere with free hot drinks, while Aquascutum is offering 30 per cent off all products, plus carol singers and mince pies.