154% sales surge for West End retailers as Chinese shoppers cash in on pound crash

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 22:  Shoppers walk along New Bond Street in Mayfair which is the most expensive avenue in Europe for retail rents on September 22, 2010 in London, England. Findings from retail estate agents claim that over the past year rents on New Bond Street have risen to 536 GBP per square foot, exceeding that of the Champs-?lys?es in Paris. In comparison, New York's Fifth Avenue, which is the world's most expensive shopping street, has rents of approximately 1180 GBP per square foot.  (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)LONDON, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 22: Shoppers walk along New Bond Street in Mayfair which is the most expensive avenue in Europe for retail rents on September 22, 2010 in London, England. Findings from retail estate agents claim that over the past year rents on New Bond Street have risen to 536 GBP per square foot, exceeding that of the Champs-?lys?es in Paris. In comparison, New York’s Fifth Avenue, which is the world’s most expensive shopping street, has rents of approximately 1180 GBP per square foot. (Photo by Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Sales to Chinese shoppers in the West End rocketed by 154% last week, compared to last year, as a combination of a cheap pound and Chinese New Year saw the shopping district suck in foreign spending.   

Businesses in the area, including watch boutiques and jewellers benefited from the surge in shoppers.

Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents businesses around Oxford Street, told City AM: “We witnessed a staggering 153.8 per cent surge in Chinese sales from the same period in 2016 and a 73.1 per cent yearly increase in transactions, suggesting a greater number of Chinese shoppers on the streets.”

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The average value of items bought also increased with the volume. Transaction value increased by 46% on last year and the number of transactions rose 73%.

London has become a popular destination for foreign shoppers, in particular Chinese shoppers, seeking discounted luxury goods like watches since the result of the Brexit vote triggered a drop in the pound.

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