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Footfall up as shoppers hit London streets

Shoppers in London returned to the West End over the weekend as footfall was boosted by Olympic visitors.

In the Heart of London catchment area - comprising Piccadilly, St James’s, Leicester Square and Piccadilly Circus - footfall between Monday and Thursday rose 11.6% week on week, with traffic up 16.2%.

Anecdotally the West End also saw a boost, although official figures have not been released.

“It has got busier over the weekend; the footfall has definitely got stronger, ” said Jace Tyrrell, communications director of the New West End Company. “The message is really out there that you can travel around London freely.”

This news will come as a relief to retailers, after footfall across the capital fell in the early part of last week as consumers stayed away from the key shopping streets.

However retailers may have benefited from the closing of Westfield Stratford to anyone without a ticket to the Olympic Park.

Businesses in the West End are now pinning their hopes of capitalising on the increased number of visitors to the capital between the Olympics and the Paralympics.

However Tyrrell sought to distance NWEC from reports that the company was preparing a six-figure advertising campaign to lure shoppers back to London over this period.

The initiative was being organised by tourism body London & Partners, with only partial involvement from NWEC, he said.

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