London retail lobby group New West End Company has outlined plans to promote a significant reduction in traffic to the area, create jobs, increase dwell time in stores and boost commercial income overall by £4.5m per year by 2020.
The targets were set out by new chief executive Jace Tyrrell at an event last night to mark New West End’s 10-year anniversary.
Tyrell said the group wanted to see a reduction in traffic by 50% in certain parts of the West End. It is also promoting the creation of a further 2,000 jobs and apprenticeships and aims to increase sales by 10% from major campaigns.
New West End is the UK’s largest retail-led business improvement districts and represents more than 600 businesses across Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street. It has invested £50m in improving retailing in these areas over the past 10 years.
Tyrrell said: “We have achieved so much over the past 10 years, but our businesses are facing greater trading challenges and there is still more to deliver.
“London’s retail heartland is an integral economic asset to the UK, generating £8.5bn annually in sales and employing 160,000 people. It is crucial that we continue to improve the area and policies are adopted that attract shoppers, improve air quality, create jobs and secure investment.”
Andy Street, managing director of John Lewis, added: “It’s critical that we all work together to make the step change needed to future proof the West End as a key international shopping destination.
“This can only happen through close collaboration with all retailers in the sector addressing the future major challenges that the area faces as well as having a very clear vision of what the West End can be if we all work hard and invest in it.”