The New West End Company, Transport for London and London & Partners are set to turn to social media to lure visitors to the West End after retailers reported low footfall due to the Olympics.
Retailers have suffered a fall in sales as tourists and locals stayed away from central London to avoid overcrowding during the Olympics.
Store groups have complained that their London shops have been quiet during the Olympics, while figures from Experian showed that footfall had slumped in central London, with a week-on-week footfall fall of 12.4% in the West End and west London retail centres on Saturday.
Footfall in East London fell 9.6% on Monday and Tuesday while shopper numbers in West London fell 4.5% year-on-year.
Next chief executive Lord Wolfson said this morning that its stores in the capital had been “adversely affected”.
The New West End Company met with the Mayor’s office this morning, together with TFL and London & Partners, to help combat the “ghost town” effect.
Jace Tyrrell, director of communications at the New West End Company, said that as a result of the meeting all companies will be utilising social media, such as Twitter and Facebook, to encourage people to visit London.
He said: “There’s going to be a good push on social media to remind people that it’s easy to get into the West End. All of us are going to push this message out and retailers themselves will be too.”
In the run up to the Games, TFL has warned people to avoid central London hotspots, including Bond Street tube and Oxford Circus, two major underground stations along shopping Mecca Oxford Street
Tyrrell complained yesterday that while retailers had braced themselves for “very different trading patterns”, advice from authorities warning Londoners to avoid busy areas had perhaps gone too far.
He said: “[TFL] did a great job in communicating that message, but now we know it’s quieter than expected I think it needs to change.
“The new message should be ‘come and enjoy your city’ - particularly to those people working from home or on holiday.