Spend in London’s West End is expected to surge 25% to £12.5bn by 2020, driven by Asian and US tourists shopping in the area.
The report – which covers restaurants, galleries and theatres as well as retail on Bond Street, Oxford Street, Regent Street, Leicester Square, Piccadilly and St James’s – found that tourists will continue to be attracted by the weakening pound.
The easing of the Eurozone crisis should encourage more EU visitors to the UK, the report compiled by the New West End Company and Heart of London Business Alliance found.
The area contributes 20% of the capital’s GDP.
Jones Lang LaSalle UK chief executive Guy Grainger, who presented the report this week, said that shoppers were more demanding than ever and called on property owners to become engaged with the issue of public realm improvement in order to attract more spend.
“East Oxford Street will see significant growth over the next few years. Developers are already savvy to this and have begun multiple projects that will give the area the facelift needed in anticipation of Crossrail’s arrival, but there are risks,” he said.
“Single ownership can achieve great things in terms of public realm and tenant mix, as we’ve seen with the work of [Regent Street owner] The Crown Estate and [Carnaby Street owner] Shaftesbury.”
New West End Company chief executive Richard Dickinson said: “Whether it’s making it easier for Chinese visitors to come to London, extending Sunday shopping hours or building a new airport, we need the Government to move forward, be decisive and keep our economy growing. Then the core West End and the UK will truly benefit and deliver economic prosperity to us all.”
David Shaw, head of the Regent Street portfolio at The Crown Estate, which is midway through its 20-year £1bn regeneration of the famous shopping destination, said: “Retail is a critical part of our regeneration of Regent Street. To attract shoppers from the UK and overseas, we need to deliver a memorable customer experience. This means focusing on flagships that deliver the best fitout, staff and stock.”