London’s West End will see addition of over three million sqft of new retail space over the next two years as stores aim to cash in on booming tourism. The space will come onto the market throughout 2015 and 2016, 300,000 sqft of which will be created on East Oxford Street.
Retailers in West End received 390 million shopper visits over the course of the year, with 18.7 million tourists flocking to the area from 120 countries. This number is expected to jump to 35.1 million tourists in 2015.
West End now boasts 254 flagship stores in 109 streets. Around 80 new brands – including Victoria Beckham, Hunter and Watches of Switzerland – from across the world opened in the area last year. While this year Spanish fashion giant Zara and US children’s TV channel Nickelodeon are among those to have signed up.
“Last year was significant for the West End’s performance and landmark leasing deals. With an unrivalled interplay of retail, leisure and hospitality industries, it is not surprising that the West End continues to outstrip its competitors with retail sitting at the core of the area’s economic output. Existing retailers want to upsize and international brands are vying to locate here with the upcoming pipeline of new retail spaces in the core West End set to fulfil this demand,” says Richard Dickinson, New West End Company chief executive.