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In Pictures: Crowds return to Oxford Street for Christmas shopping

Tom Shearsmith
02 December 2020

As non-essential retail in England reopened for a second time this year, Oxford Street saw large crowds return, with shoppers eager to make purchases for Christmas.

Crowds returned in greater numbers compared to June's reopening, with dedicated shoppers visiting stores such as Primark, Zara, Selfridges and JD Sports.

Debenhams saw the biggest queues, with customers desperate to find discounted stock bargains after it was confirmed that the retailer is set to shut its doors for good.

Footfall until 12pm today was up by 85.2% in England compared to the previous week, data from Springboard shows.

Shopping destinations saw the biggest increase, up 133.2%, with high street footfall climbing 80.4%.

Earlier today, announced Sports Direct is to close its Oxford Street flagship store in London, with the news confirmed via closing down sale signs in the store’s window.

Helen Dickinson, Chief Executive of the British Retail Consortium, commented: “Thousands of retailers are welcoming back customers to stores across England. The run up to Christmas is a vital time for retailers, with one in every eight pounds spent in December. Following four weeks of closure, many retailers are extending opening hours, offering discounts, and looking at other ways to create an enjoyable shopping experience and bring back customers.

“Celebrations are a little different this year, but we all want to keep Christmas special. To avoid disappointment, and to keep everyone as safe as possible, we are encouraging people not to leave their shopping – online and in-store - to the last minute. This way we can ensure our fellow customers and all the store colleagues, warehouse workers and delivery drivers working behind the scenes, have the space they need to stay safe and well.

“The public can do their Christmas shopping confident that retail operations are covid-secure and retailers are doing everything to keep them safe. And with plenty of gifts and other festive items on offer, everyone can shop in knowledge that every purchase we make is a retailer helped, a job protected and a local community supported.”

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