The New West End Company launches its Christmas Tracker Report while ghostly goings-on cause a Co-op store to shut up shop for Halloween.

New West End Co races to launch Christmas report

The New West End Company launched its Christmas Tracker Report at a round-table breakfast event last week and drafted in an unconventional choice of speaker to kick off proceedings.

Channel 4 horse-racing commentator Richard Hoiles put a colourful spin on ‘The Race to Christmas’, predicting the runners and riders ahead of the festive season to the backing noise of a starting gun and galloping.

Fictional horse Like-For-Likes improved on his last outing, spurred on by a strong performance from American Tourist, but in the end it was West End Winner who took the £2.3bn purse – the amount predicted to be spent in the region in the six weeks leading up to December 25.

But with Black Friday looming large ahead of that date, let’s hope none of London’s retailers fall at the first hurdle.

Early doors for Co-op store on Halloween

Spooked staff at a Co-op store shut up shop early on Halloween because they believe the store is haunted.

The decision to close the Whaley Bridge store at 9.30pm rather than the usual 11pm time was made to “avoid members of staff becoming distressed”. Although the concerns around the “eerie and uncomfortable atmosphere” and “unexplained occurrences” are very much real, the Co-op released playful CCTV footage of the mysterious goings on at the store.

The film, posted on YouTube, shows apparent paranormal activity including lights flickering, shadows moving across the store and produce like bananas being flung off shelves and on to the shop floor.