Up-to-date coverage of the latest events in UK retail.

London West End defies Boxing Day footfall downturn

The number of shoppers in London’s Bond, Oxford and Regent Street on Boxing Day increased 15% year-on-year in the period to 10:30am, according to New West End Company.

At that time, New West End Company anticipated that shoppers in the West End would spend £50m on Boxing Day and £2.5bn for the Christmas trading period overall.

New West End Company chief executive Jace Tyrell said: “International tourists are out in force driven by the weaker pound, as well as domestic shoppers who are looking for day out after family celebrations yesterday.”

Boxing Day footfall declines for third consecutive year

Overall shopper numbers on Boxing Day declined 4.2% year-on-year in the period to midday according to Springboard as footfall declined across retail parks, high streets and shopping centres.

Shopping centres were the worst impacted as footfall declined 6.7%, followed up retail parks down 4.8% and high streets down 2.8%.

The drop in footfall yesterday was slightly less than the fall of 5.6% last year, but a steeper decline than the 2.8% fall in 2016.

Councils set to bid for slice of £675m high street fund

The future high street fund, which was first announced in the Autumn Budget to reinvigorate struggling high streets across the UK, officially launched on Boxing Day.

Councils across England are invited to bid for a share of the £675m allocated for the scheme to fund local initiatives such as improving transport links or repurposing unused retail space.

The fund was launched following a report from Sir John Timpson, entitled the High Street Report, which advised that the money be used to allow individual towns to create their own respective community hubs as local authorities saw fit.

Up to £55m of the fund has been earmarked for the regeneration of ‘heritage high streets’.

Tesco to expand barber shop concessions to 50 stores

The grocery giant, which currently has 19 in-store hairdressers across its outlets, will roll an additional 50 next year through its partnership with barber shop chain Gould Brothers.

The move will create up to 400 new roles for the barber chain, which currently employs 100 barbers.

Co-founder Darran Gold told the Press Association: “We got invited to the Tesco head office where they told us that they’d been looking at the barber concept for a while and would like us to expand.

“And they have lots of space in their stores, in particular Tesco Extra, they are looking to fill.”

Tesco launched its first Gould Brothers in-store barber in 2016.