Analysis: Why is the east end of Oxford Street still so grotty?

Oxford Street east 3

What looked like a renaissance for the east end of Oxford Street appears to have stalled, but what are the prospects for a revival?

The east end of Oxford Street has long been the grotty part of the UK’s most famous shopping road. However, that was all supposed to change with the opening of Crossrail, now named the Elizabeth Line, which we were promised would be a catalyst for regeneration.

Tottenham Court Road station sits on the eastern periphery of Oxford Street and is a key station on the east to west London line – in fact, property advisor GVA predicted it would overtake Oxford Circus as the busiest station in the West End.

These promises of regeneration appeared to ring true when Primark set up an enormous four-floor, 82,400 sq ft flagship opposite Tottenham Court Road station in 2012.

But fast forward seven years and there is little sign of a revamped Oxford Street East when exiting Tottenham Court Road station. Instead cheap perfume stores and sweet shops aplenty occupy many units at the very eastern end of Oxford Street.

Subscription content

Please sign in now if you have a subscription or are already registered with us.

Retail Week

Register for free to continue reading provides premium, in-depth intelligence that helps retailers judge risks, spot opportunities and identify what they need to do to win in the digital economy.

Register today for a taste of our high-quality intelligence and enjoy:

  • Two free article views per calendar month on
  • Detailed analysis of current trends and events 
  • Exclusive newsletters
  • In-depth reports, videos, interviews and much more

Discover Retail Week register now

Please note, if you have recently purchased a subscription, it may take a few minutes before your account is updated.