Christmas shopping spend in London set to reach £15.5 billion

·2-min read
Footfall is improving in the West End  (Capco)
Footfall is improving in the West End (Capco)

Retail businesses could see shoppers in the capital spend £15.5 billion in the six weeks leading up to Christmas, according to forecasts.

In what will be welcome news for retailers after lockdowns hurt physical store trade in the final quarter of 2020, that figure is 4.6% higher than the same six weeks last year.

The forecast, from the VoucherCodes shopping for Christmas report, carried out by research firm GlobalData, covers spend in London stores and by online shoppers in the capital.

Angus Drummond, senior director, commercial at VoucherCodes, said: “As London’s retail industry gets back on its feet recovering from the huge challenges brought on by Covid, our report’s prediction for this Christmas is the welcome news many retailers will have been waiting for.”

Numerous shoppers have been buying early for the festive period to beat any shortages due to supply chain problems, and in anticipation of bigger gatherings compared with smaller dinners during the pandemic.

The VoucherCodes report started tracking London-specific sales for the period last year so does not have regional-specific figures for pre-pandemic. But the UK wide prediction is for £84.7 billion to be spent, up respectively 6.3% and 1.9% from the two prior years.

Meanwhile, latest figures from business lobby group New West End Company for the week starting November 15 show footfall in the West End was 11% higher than the prior week. But visitor numbers were still down 21% from the pre-pandemic equivalent period in 2019.

NWEC’s Jace Tyrrell said: "As footfall continues to grow, we are expecting our domestic customers to take full advantage of the numerous discounts on offer this year, which are already being promoted by many retailers across the district. Retail businesses are clearly keen to make the most of the festive period in order to make up for lost custom and revenue.”

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