London's West End has strong weekend despite terror-linked dip late Friday

The appeal of central London’s fashion flagships and luxury stores proved strong on Friday and at the weekend with the West End of London outperforming the rest of the UK when it came to footfall.

Black Friday was strong in London's West End despite the terror false alarm

It was the best Black Friday on record up to 16:00 with footfall up 4.5% before the terrorist attack false alarm brought shopping to a halt for several hours.

terror fears didn’t appear to deter weekend shoppers. On Saturday and Sunday, footfall moved up 1% in the area, despite a sluggish performance across much of the country where overall high street footfall dropped 2.5% across the two days.

The New West End Company said “visitors returned in their droves despite false reports of an incident at Oxford Circus tube station on Friday afternoon.”
NWEC also said that several department stores reported their busiest Saturday so far this year.

Did the Friday terror alter have a major impact? Yes and no. NWEC said the 1% increase on Saturday and Sunday was encouraging but it did have to face up to 12% drop reported for the end of Friday because of the lockdown while police tried to establish what exactly had happened at Oxford Circus.

NWEC chief Jace Tyrrell said: “It was a relief that the activity at Oxford Circus on Friday was a false alarm with no serious injuries. Whilst it did impact numbers on Friday evening, the resilience of the West End has really shone through as footfall was recorded at over one million during the weekend.”

Tyrrell also said that the body, which represents stores in the area, "is responding to the lessons of Friday evening and exploring ways in which the district can respond to such events in the future.”

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