Mayor of London Boris Johnson met with London retailers today ahead of the West End’s VIP Saturday when shoppers are expected to spend £100m in preparation for the Christmas season.

Boris Johnson briefs West End Retailers

Hamleys chief executive Gudjon Reynisson, Debenhams director of marketing Richard Cristofoli, Marks and Spencer director of retail Steve Rowe and Selfridges UK managing director Anne Pitcher, this morning had a briefing with the Mayor about Shop West End VIP day, sponsored by American Express.

Taking place on Saturday Oxford Street and Regent Street will be traffic free from 8am to 8pm.

McFly are scheduled to perform at the centre of Oxford Circus at 11.30am and throughout the day celebrities will be appearing at retailers’ tills across London’s West End. Meanwhile 100 trained ‘West End Gift Gurus’ will be there to help Christmas shoppers find the gifts they want.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “2012 has been a bumper year for London with millions of visitors pouring into the capital to soak up the incredible atmosphere throughout our magnificent summer of sport and pageantry.

“London’s West End was a huge draw and the VIP Day is the perfect way to build on that momentum, kicking off the Christmas festivities for shoppers and giving them a unique experience in our world-renowned flagship stores.”

American Express will donate £1 per transaction over the whole weekend to partner charity Make-A-Wish, up to a maximum of £50,000. While registered card members will be awarded £25 of credit when they spend £50 or more.

Richard Dickinson, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents West End retailers, said: “After a great summer the place to get ready for Christmas is at the American Express Shop West End Day where traffic free shopping meets gifting on a grand scale.  Whether that is the 100 trained gift gurus providing great advice, or the giant presents lining the streets, or the donations to the charity partner Make-A-Wish, this day provides a truly wonderful Christmas day out in London’s West End.”