The West End is forecasted to attract more than £10bn of spending each year by 2020 but only if overcrowding and congestion are tackled, according to a report by New West End Company.
The figure is up on the £7.5bn which is forecast to be spent this year.
To help the retail district retain its “world class appeal” among UK and overseas shoppers all four mayoral candidates have committed to easing these key issues.
New West End Company chairman Dame Judith Mayhew Jonas said: “The West End’s future economic prosperity cannot be taken for granted.
“We must be under no illusion that if we don’t continue to invest, deal with congestion and overcrowding issues, we run the risk of losing shoppers and with it the huge economic benefits that drive much of the London economy.”
New West End Company, which represents retailers across Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street, commissioned property advisor CBRE to create the My West End Report, which is based on 3,800 interviews with shoppers in the UK and overseas.
Shoppers said less crowding in terms of traffic and pedestrians would increase their visits to the area, while more than a third (36%) of shoppers said the area needed better navigational facilities.
But shoppers revealed they rate the West End 4.2 out of 5, with 5 being excellent. They also spend an average £169 per visit, with summer spends as much as £211 per visit. 57% of visitors said shopping was the main reason to visit the West End.
CBRE’s London expert Jonathan De Mello, who authored the report said: “The research showed huge commitment to the West End but also underlined what to watch out for, with the area potentially becoming a victim of its own success if overcrowding isn’t dealt with – given up to 70 million more journeys via Crossrail into the West End in just six years’ time.”
However, New West End Company chief executive Richard Dickinson said the Olympics must take the “immediate focus” with just 100 days until the opening ceremony.