With on-off discussions about making Oxford Street partially or fully pedestrian seemingly endless, Retail Week looks at some of the international locations that have adopted people-first approaches and what it could mean for London’s West End.
Oxford Street is sick, and it turns out that a big lump of earth and trees wasn’t the cure. While the ill-fated Marble Arch Mound has so far attracted more mockery than visitors, Westminster City Council’s rationale is understandable: in decline for a number of years, the pandemic kicked London’s most famous retail street while it was down.
What’s more, it is not alone. The world’s premier shopping streets are enduring a tough time that goes far beyond the lockdowns and loss of international visitors.
Political upheaval in Hong Kong, a slew of famous retailers going bust or opting out of New York’s Fifth Avenue and The Magnificent Mile in Chicago and an existential crisis along the Champs-Élysées have rocked previously imperious shopping avenues.
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