London’s West End celebrated a successful festive season with a 5% increase in foot traffic on Boxing Day compared to the same period in 2022. This uplift contributed to the overall buoyant mood experienced throughout December.
Footfall in the West End grew by 20% from November to December and showed a 6% increase compared to December of the previous year. The New West End Company (NWEC), which provided these statistics, attributed the growth to the return of international visitors, who had started outnumbering domestic shoppers since the Black Friday weekend.
This international influx was particularly evident on Bond Street, where there was a notable 20% year-on-year increase in footfall. Early reports from retailers in the area indicate a strong performance in festive trading.
Dee Corsi, Chief Executive of NWEC, highlighted the West End’s appeal as a premier retail and leisure destination, contributing to the high volume of visitors during the Christmas season. She emphasized that the area offers more than just shopping, attracting many to enjoy various festive activities.
However, Corsi also pointed out the challenges faced due to the cost-of-living crisis impacting domestic spending and consumer confidence. She stressed the need for government action, specifically calling for an independent review of tax-free shopping to level the playing field with other European destinations. This, according to Corsi, is crucial for sustaining the West End’s recovery, especially during key shopping periods like Boxing Day.