Bank Holiday sees record shoppers

Wednesday, 27 May 2009
The Bank Holiday saw a surge of shoppers come to London's West End, with numbers buoyed by a street carnival on a temporarily pedestrianised Oxford Street, according to the New West End Company. The company says that half a million people headed to the area for free street entertainment and shopping, estimating that the hordes spent £50m in West End stores. Oxford Street was cleared of traffic between 12 noon and 5pm for the event.

New West End chief executive Richard Dickinson says, “Today's event has involved six months of planning and the hard work of over 100 people. We hope that it will give Londoners and those from other parts of the UK a great reason to rediscover the West End - with its fantastic breadth of retail across 600 stores, great galleries, superb shows, restaurants for every pocket and much more besides.”

“I am not at all surprised that, yet again, hundreds of thousands of shoppers have descended on this great centre of retail therapy. Whether you shop until you drop or just soak up the hustle and bustle Oxford Street the West End is a great place to while away a Saturday afternoon,” says London Mayor Boris Johnson.

According to Selfridges food and restaurants director Ewan Venters, “Customers were busy buying for the holiday season with best-sellers including beauty, beachwear and summer dresses. In the food hall people are stocking up on BBQ essentials and ice cream has been flying out.”

The event was organised by New West End Company in partnership with the West End's retailers and property owners, the Mayor of London, Westminster City Council, Transport for London, the Metropolitan Police, Visit London and Fox Entertainment.

Image: Piccadilly Circus