Nearly 20 retailers on London’s Oxford Street have been forced to close while the Metropolitan Police investigate a fatal stabbing that took place yesterday outside McDonald’s, near Oxford Circus.

The authorities have cordoned off an area between Oxford Circus and Poland Street to enable them to conduct forensic investigations.

The shops that have been forced to close include Gap, Muji, Zara, Carphone Warehouse, Marks & Spencer, New Look, Bik Bok, Dorothy Perkins, H Samuel, Next, Paperchase and Mango.

The New West End Company is receiving regular updates from the police and will provide further information once it is available.

The stabbing took place yesterday at 4.45pm on the east side of the street.

In a statement, the New West End Company said: “Our sympathies are with the victim’s family and anyone affected by yesterday’s incident. We call on retailers and shoppers in the area to pass on any information they believe will be helpful to police investigations by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”