Shoppers flock back to the West End in grand reopening of London
Following the easing of the lockdown the number of shoppers and visitors heading to the West End was more than expected, as shops in central London opened for the first time in months.
In the first week following the easing of lockdown restrictions footfall in the West End stood at around 54 per cent of the usual number of April visitors, higher than the anticipated 40 per cent.
The first Saturday after the reopening saw footfall of around 70 per cent of the usual number of April visitors, and in comparison with last year’s June reopening, overall footfall was 125 per cent higher.
Last Monday lockdown restrictions eased, allowing non-essential retail to open for the first time in months, along with pubs and restaurants with outdoor space.
Many coronavirus restrictions are still in place, including on international travel, stunting the number of tourists usually found in the West End.
Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses on Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street & in Mayfair, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many people back in the West End to visit their favourite shops once again.
“We are thrilled to see that footfall for the first week was above what we expected and believe that this reflects the public’s desire to safely reconnect with family and friends and enjoy their favourite brands once again, and also the resilience of the area.”
However, he said until international shoppers are able to return, the West End will continue to need extra government support.