The New West End Company said that footfall rose 4.3% in March and defied the national drop in high street footfall, which was down 8.2%.
However, chief executive Richard Dickinson said that the rise represented a slowdown: "Although March footfall was up 4.3% year-on-year, this marks a slowdown when compared to over 5% in January and February. The West End is undoubtedly benefiting form international tourists with retailers reporting a boost in Russian and Middle Eastern shoppers with a healthy appetite for luxury purchases. The unfavourable exchange rate has however meant a noticeable drop in American shoppers and in the light of tough trading conditions at home, the board recently agreed a significant increase in marketing activity."
The London Retail Consortium also said that retail sales in central London in March rose 2% like-for-like on the previous year, which outperformed the rest of the UK, which showed a 1.6% drop.