Retailers are being urged to prepare for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games so they can fully capitalise on their commercial potential.

The New West End Company, Heart of London Business Alliance and the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games (LOCOG) will meet today to outline areas of consideration for West End businesses.

Also at the West End Olympic conference will be representatives from Transport for London (TFL), the Mayor’s Office, Westminster City Council, Deloitte, London Chamber of Commerce and Metropolitan Police.

More than 200 West End businesses will also attend the conference.

Deloitte research has revealed that 52% of UK retailers have not made adequate preparations for the opportunities and challenges arising from the 2012 Games.

Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas, Chairman of New West End Company said:“The potential impact of the Olympic Games on West End Sales remains unclear, however if businesses are prepared adopt some of the measures we have established we could see an estimated £100 million sales boost to the area during the Games.” 

Retailers and other West End businesses are being urged to:

  • Work together to lobby for a lift on the restricted trading hours that currently apply to Sundays during the Games period
  • Look to extend daily trading hours –particularly during the high footfall events in Trafalgar Square and Hyde Park
  • Look for alternative freight delivery and collection strategies to ensure all products are replenished
  • Increase stock levels during key periods and factor in storage arrangements
  • Increase staff capacity to cater for the increase in volume of visitors
  • Encourage staff to use alternative methods of transport to minimize disruption
  • To ‘celebrate London’ through shop fit and visual merchandising as well as entertainment and leisure promotions  
  • To encourage and educate staff to become London Ambassadors
  • To assess business contingency plans for security of staff and customers
  • With over a billion eyes on London from around the world, businesses are encouraged to host spectacular events 

From next month TFL will run more than 50 free workshops across the country to help businesses prepare for the Games.