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London’s West End to return to historic annual turnover by 2025, report says

By Huw Hughes


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Image: The West End Company

London’s West End is expected to recover to its historic annual turnover of over 10 billion pounds by 2025, according to an updated report by global property consultancy firm Colliers.

The report, commissioned by New West End Company (NWEC), said that while recovery has slowed due to “economic uncertainty”, the district is still on track to hit turnover targets set out in the initial report published in February.

It comes as year-to-date sales are up 109 percent compared to 2021, while spend continues to outperform footfall.

A significant part of the district’s growth is being driven by the opening of the Elizabeth Line, which by 2023 is expected to be the main mode of transport for 13 percent of visitors.

In the coming nine years, it is expected to boost West End performance by around 7 percent, adding between 700 million pounds and 800 million pounds in sales, according to the report.

“It is encouraging to see that we are still on track to hit 10 billion pounds turnover despite the setbacks businesses across the West End have had to deal with this year,” NWEC interim CEO Dee Corsi said in a statement.


Like the wider retail industry, the West End has been impacted by a challenging consumer climate due to the cost of living crisis, international tourism remaining below pre-pandemic levels, and a continued shift to online shopping.

Paddy Gamble, co-head of retail strategy and analytics at Collier, said: “Shopping patterns and consumer behaviours have changed since the pandemic so 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.”

While NWEC welcomed the government’s decision last month to reintroduce VAT-free shopping for overseas visitors as part of its highly contentious mini-budget, it urged more action to support retailers.

The business partnership is calling for a business rates reform and for extended shop opening hours.

Corsi said: “The reintroduction of tax-free shopping is a huge win for the West End, levelling the playing field between us and other retail destinations such as Paris and Milan.

“We now need to capitalise on the momentum with the relaxation of Sunday trading hours to ensure we make London the most attractive destination for domestic and international visitors alike, stimulating further growth and putting us back on the map.”

West End