Footfall in the West End of London hit 54% of the usual April number following the reopening of non-essential retail a week ago.
The figure was higher than the anticipated 40% and was 125% higher than the footfall recorded after the reopening of lockdown 1 last June. On Saturday (17 April) footfall reached 70% of normal levels.
Jace Tyrrell, Chief Executive of New West End Company which represents 600 businesses on Oxford Street, Bond Street, Regent Street & in Mayfair, said that it was “wonderful” to see shoppers return but that the area would not recover its previous levels footfall until tourists return.
“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.
“We hope that footfall continues to increase in a safe and sustainable way but, until international shoppers return, the West End will continue to need extra government support.”
“We desperately need an extension of Sunday trading hours in Britain’s two international centres – London’s West End and Knightsbridge. As we look to the evolution of the high street in a post-pandemic London, we need to be able to give shoppers the flexibility they need to spend what they want, when they want, while generating more money for retailers and protecting jobs.”