Between tube strikes, snow and students being kettled in Oxford Circus, it’s not been a great week for West End retailers. Thank goodness for the traffic-free day on Saturday, the one day a year that shows Oxford Street could actually be a pleasant place to shop.

Between tube strikes, snow and students being kettled in Oxford Circus, it’s not been a great week for West End retailers. Thank goodness for the traffic-free day on Saturday, the one day a year that shows Oxford Street could actually be a pleasant place to shop.

Despite the best efforts of retailers and the West End Business Improvement District, the narrow pavements and wall of stationary and empty buses down the middle of the road make Oxford Street shopping a miserable business, in spite of its world class stores.

Sadly for retailers things are going to get worse before they get better. Crossrail construction work is going to blight the key area around Bond Street station for much of next year, which if the work at the east end of the street this year is anything to go by, will prove hugely disruptive. And while the Olympics will be a big draw for tourists, they are also going to come with some draconian restrictions on deliveries and access.

It’s time the importance of retail to the capital’s economy was recognised and the politicians who run London made decisions that help our industry. It’s not just a London problem, as anyone who’s witnessed the tram project’s impact on Edinburgh’s Princes Street will know.

So here’s an idea. Why not turn the Crossrail work to retail’s advantage by closing the road to traffic while it’s going on and diverting the buses and cabs down parallel roads? It could give a tantalising glimpse of a future when Oxford Street really could be a world class place to shop.

At the same time as John Browett was revealing a respectable set of interims at Dixons, Tesco was showing off its new look Extra store in Wembley where one of the highlights of an expanded non-food area was a fixture displaying the new Samsung Galaxy tablet.

It was a symbol of just how competitive the electricals market is. Browett is making great strides with stores and customer service, but he’s having to do it in a crowded market where Comet is also reinventing itself and Best Buy is trying to make its mark here.

In what was already a cut-throat sector something is going to have to give next year. Browett has made sure Dixons won’t be the victim, but the big question in 2011 will be whether Best Buy will make its mark with the UK consumer. With just six stores open so far, it hasn’t yet.