London’s most high profile shopping destination welcomed back shoppers for the first time since before Christmas today as the lockdown across England began to lift. Despite cold weather and, in some places snow, at the start of the day, shoppers flocked to the street’s best known stores such as Primark, Zara, JD Sports, Nike and Selfridges.
The crowds were the most packed at the West end of the iconic street where Selfridges was pulling in the shoppers with a suite of new in-store experiences include spin classes and in-store DJs.
Sports retailers from giants such as Nike and JD Sports to smaller outlets in nearby soho such as Footpatrol attracted young shoppers eager to pick up limited edition sneakers and sportswear.
Trend-led fashion fans queued outside Primark and Zara while all of H&M’s fascias from its flagship brand to COS, Arket and Weekday all had queues. Nearby Carnaby Street attracted a young crowd drawn largely to its sports and beauty retailer as well as young fashion brand Brandy & Melville.
However the street bears the scars of a bruising pandemic for many big high street names with Topshop’s flagship store – normally the street’s top draw – closed following the brand’s sale to ASOS, which took none of its stores.
Meanwhile workmen were busily boarding up the fascia of the former Debenhams flagship following the liquidation of the chain and its sale to online group Boohoo.
Many shoppers also took advantage of the plentiful outdoor dining options available, which helped boost footfall with the overall impression being buoyant with more shoppers present than during the lifting of lockdowns 1 and 2.