May update from New West End Company

Dee Corsi

Chief Executive

We have been extremely busy in the West End over the last month; from co-ordinating regal celebrations for the King’s Coronation, to campaigning on the issue of tax-free shopping which is now gathering noticeable momentum and support across the industry and press.

Over the Coronation weekend, we provided visitors with plenty of opportunities throughout the district to soak up the atmosphere. Despite damp weather, both domestic and international visitors rose to the occasion, with Saturday morning footfall up 32% year on year. Sunday’s footfall was a third busier than the Jubilee in 2022 and up a quarter on last year's May Bank Holiday. In total, 18 pieces of coverage about the celebrations were published in the likes of Evening Standard and City AM, and reached a potential audience of 644 million. 

The recent extensive media coverage and support of tax-free shopping continues and is helping to shine the spot light on the campaign. New data for 2022 has shown that ending the scheme has cost British shops millions in lost sales, as international travellers chose instead to shop tax-free in France, Spain and Italy. 

The Government's request for evidence last week on the impact of this policy decision is a welcome step forward and I am looking forward to making the case for the West End directly to the Treasury in the coming weeks.

To keep up the pressure we are keen to hear from any brands who would be happy to share stories and evidence with media on how this is impacting their businesses. We have two ongoing campaign media partners in the Daily Mail and Evening Standard and they are both looking to run a story a day. Our press office function is busy working with all national press on the matter.

Separately we have asked the Treasury for guidance on how to submit formal evidence, and we will share this information as soon as we have it. We will be sending a dedicated communications on our Tax-free shopping campaign movements in the coming weeks but in the meantime please do contact the team should you have anything that will support the media campaign.

I am also delighted to announce that I have been appointed Chair of the Association of International Retail (AIR). Launched in March 2020, AIR works together with businesses, organisations and Government to ensure that the policy and economic environment allows international retail in the UK to realise its full growth potential, with tax-free shopping clearly at the heart of this.

Last week we hosted a West End Crime Summit with our members and partners from the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) including the new Chief Superintendent and the Borough Commander Louise Puddefoot, Mark Wiltshire, the new Director of Public Protection & Licensing at Westminster City Council (WCC), British Transport Police (BTP) and Greater London Authority (GLA) where we discussed district-wide concerns and the long-term management of the West End, with particular emphasis on crime prevention and Anti-Social Behaviour.

With the launch of the MPS Turnaround Plan and a clear focus on neighbourhood policing and Strategic Partnerships, as well as the Westminster City Council’s new trial programme for the Engagement, Assessment & Triage (EAT) Unit, now is the time to agree priorities to ensure the West End International City Centre is safe for businesses, local workers, and tourists alike.

My thanks to all of those that joined the invaluable session and I look forward to working with you all on the partnership initiatives that have been identified.

Earlier this month London and Partners’ Future Occupiers Programme, run in partnership with NWEC, Heart of London Business Alliance and Westminster City Council, hosted 11 ambitious and innovative brands from around the world. They were guided through the district to see its iconic landmarks and a flurry of new activity. The delegates heard from a host of speakers, whose combined knowledge captured everything there is to know about setting up in the West End. 

Our Director of Communications & Campaigns, Sarah Jaconelli, sat on a panel discussion for NLA’s ‘The Elizabeth Line: One Year On’ webinar', which explored the transformational impact that the line has had, both in terms of footfall to the West End, as well as in setting a new standard for public transport infrastructure.

Finally, We are delighted to announce that following Sir Peter Roger’s departure at the end of April, we have now formally appointed Paul Williams, Chief Executive of Derwent London as our new Chairman.

“I am delighted to be taking on the role of Chairman of New West End Company, as we continue to shape the future vision for the West End, working closely with Dee and her team to tackle the challenges and grasp the opportunities.  As ever, we represent our members on the issues which matter most and ensure that the West End remains a world-renowned destination for retail and leisure”. Paul Williams, Chairman, New West End Company.

We look forward to working with Paul over the coming weeks and months to ensure NWEC continues to act as a trusted partner and voice on your behalf, campaigning our future vision of the West End as an international destination.


Across the Coronation weekend we launched our ‘Get Your Royal On’ campaign, in which the famous street’s most iconic shops, restaurants and leisure brands ran exclusive Coronation-inspired experiences, offers and menus to mark the occasion, giving its visitors a day to remember.

Oxford Street underwent a Coronation makeover with Union Jack flags adorning the street in the lead up to and during the bank holiday weekend. To give visitors a chance to capture the moment in history, we placed a number of pop up artwork installations that provided the perfect backdrop for memorable stand-in photo moments.

As part of the Coronation festivities, a number of Oxford Street’s bus shelters were topped with crowns to give them the ultimate regal touch - a big “thank you” must go to our wonderful security team, who foiled an attempted crown robbery, and gained us a swathe of press coverage in the likes of the Evening Standard as a result. Our fabulous crowns were also featured in across social media including on the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan's, LinkedIn roundup post.

We also launched The A-Z of Oxford Street Royalty Map, spotlighting the best spots to shop, drink, eat and celebrate over the bank holiday weekend. From cocktails inspired by the Coronation, to a pop-up prosecco bar and specially curated afternoon teas, there was something for everyone to enjoy on Oxford Street to mark the momentous occasion.  


We work with a number of partners to promote London's West End to global markets through international conferences, trade shows, inward investment missions and positive media narratives. On Wednesday 17 April our Head of Partnerships Danielle Purnell headed to Leeds to attend this years UKREiiF.

The UK’s Real Estate Investment & Infrastructure Forum (UKREiiF) is an ongoing movement, culminating in an annual three-day event, for the real estate and infrastructure sectors. It connects people, places and businesses with the aim of accelerating and unlocking sustainable, inclusive and transformational investment.


We wanted to share an update with members on work that has been going on behind-the-scenes to tackle organised retail crime within our district. We are delighted to announce a successful collaboration between New West End Company, the Metropolitan Police, and Safer Business Network.
Over the past few months, our security and intelligence teams have been busy gathering and analysing evidence on an organised crime group operating within the district, informally referred to as the 'Spice Girls'. This group is a mobile and extremely active criminal organisation that commits various offences throughout London, including violent acts and assaults against shop workers. 
In addition, with our sharing of information and the hard work of our partners at Safer Business Network, they have successfully identified around 60 offenders who have stolen goods worth over £100,000 in 35 separate incidents across London.
Earlier this month we both presented our intelligence findings to the Metropolitan Police and received positive feedback indicating that our work will undoubtedly be utilised in investigations and to brief local policing teams in the West End.
We want to reassure members that we are aware of the impact this group has had on your business and staff and we will continue to work in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and Safer Business Network to tackle the risk they pose. 
We are asking members to ensure they report all incidents involving this group to police on 999 (in an emergency) or 101 (non-emergency) and NWEC Security - 07900738810. Moving forward, we have set up regular meetings with the working group to ensure all intelligence is being shared. We will also be communicating key updates and developments on this project as they arise.

Should you have any questions or wish to discuss this matter, please contact Jamie Conroy our Security & Operations Manager here.


The new Employment (Allocation of Tips) Bill which became law in in early May will impact on all hospitality businesses whose customers choose to tip or pay service charges, even if those operators believe they are already “doing the right thing”.  The legislation will bring new obligations and costs on business, coupled with new rights for workers, and failure to meet these new obligations could result in a costly trip to an Employment Tribunal.

Kallaway in partnership with WMT Troncmaster Services are hosting a special webinar on Wednesday 7 June at 11:30am, where Peter Davies, Managing Director of accountancy firm WMT Troncmaster Services, will summarise the key changes and answer questions on what happens next and the steps that businesses need to take. Peter is widely recognised as the leading national expert in the field of tips, service charges and tronc systems and works with many of the UK’s leading operators helping to deliver fair and transparent tipping systems, as well as ensuring that businesses are prepared and ready for the new legislation. Click below to sign up to the free session.

Find out more.