It is not only the weather this week that has finally given us a glimpse of some sunshine. Knight Frank have just released their Q1 2023 Retail update, with some positive statistics for the retail and leisure sector, providing us with encouragement that things are set to improve.
In the West End, despite footfall being down by 27%, the levels of spending are 4% higher than pre-pandemic levels; offsetting this decline. Although less frequently, shoppers seem to be shopping with a purpose now, either spending more money per visit or making more purchases. Perhaps "window shopping" will be a thing of the past.
The update also tells us that tourism levels are due to have fully recovered by July 2023 (matching 2019 levels). Levels have outperformed forecasts and the start of the year saw a rapid return of international visitors, the most significant spenders in Q1 being from the USA, making up 15-17% of international spend.
These key stats are a positive sign for the retail sector in the West End, suggesting that there is still demand for retail and leisure activities in the area. 71% of luxury London brands say they feel optimistic about business prospects over the next year, with relocations to better units being key, including Diptyque at 107 Bond Street and Rixo on 114-116 Kings Road. Oxford Street too looks set to continue its journey of improvement with Maniere De Voir, a Manchester based online fashion brand taking over 5,000 sq ft of space in Oxbourne House (354 Oxford Street). Whatever the specific developments may be, the signs of life in the London retail occupier markets provide us with some much needed optimism, that will hopefully continue along with the sun!
To read Knight Frank's update in full please click: