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New Elizabeth Line expects to boost West End sales by seven billion pounds

By Rachel Douglass


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Image: TFL

Following the expansion of the Elizabeth underground and overground line, which opened May 24, retailers in London’s West End are expecting to see a marginally large return in their annual sales.

According to New West End Company, which oversees 600 businesses within some of the city’s central shopping districts, the impact of the new line could influence an additional 700 million to 800 pounds of West End sales by 2031.

In a report, New West End said this could be the equivalent of five billion to seven billion pounds of cumulative annual turnover, a seven percent boost in performance by the same year.

The report, which was published alongside Colliers West End, further stated that the uplift could be driven by a 13 percent net increase in entrances and exits at West End stations between now and when the line is fully operational.

The Elizabeth Line stretches east to west through London and into the suburbs, spanning Reading to Shenfield and running over 60 miles.

Once completed, it will cover 41 accessible stations, including nine new stations within the city’s central section.

The report stated that areas around Oxford Street in particular could see a “significant footfall uplift” as a result of shoppers using the line.

Tottenham Court Road is said to expect a 50 percent performance increase, while Bond Street is estimated to see a 31 percent uplift once its doors open on October 24 following safety approvals.

West End on track to achieve 10 billion pounds in turnover by 2025

Additionally, around 80 percent of West End visitors are estimated to have some sort of interaction with the Elizabeth Line, with 13 percent “already using it frequently”.

New West End added that it was most likely to drive increased engagement with retail and foodservice in the area.

In a separate press release, the company also said the area was on track to achieve 10 billion pounds in turnover by 2025, despite “a slowing rate of recovery”.

Speaking on the estimates, Paddy Gamble, co-head of retail strategy and analytics at Colliers, noted changes in shopping partners since the pandemic, including visitors stopping by with a particular intent to shop instead of browsing.

Gamble said: “Instead of customers visiting perhaps five days, where people might just be browsing, consumers are now coming into the West End maybe three days to work, and with an increased intent to purchase, which is really what is driving the numbers through the tills.

“With the full introduction of the Elizabeth Line, this is set to drive and boost spending even further. So we have really taken a deep dive here with our analysis, combining footfall, transactions and other key metrics together to get a true picture of what is happening.”

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