- Black Friday weekend gets festive season off to roaring start: Saturday is busiest day of 2023, reaching 2019 footfall levels
- Morning footfall surged on the Saturday of Black Friday weekend, as shoppers sought out early bird offers.
- In spite of lower temperatures, footfall also remained buoyant across the first weekend of December.
- Marking the start of December’s trading period, New West End Company celebrated the festive magic of the West End in partnership with one of the U.K.’s leading visitor attractions, Outernet.
New West End Company celebrates the festive magic of the West End in partnership with Outernet
Black Friday weekend set a positive tone for the West End’s festive trading period, according to new figures released today by New West End Company. Not only did the weekend experience the festive period’s first significant “spike” in footfall – in line with New West End Company’s forecast – but the Saturday after Black Friday was the busiest day of 2023 to date, slightly surpassing 2019’s figures.
Driving uplift was early morning shoppers, with higher footfall concentrated between 8am – 12pm. This is likely down to the rise in savvy spenders, seeking out early bird deals in-store, even in spite of Elizabeth Line closures. A New West End Company on-street survey of visitors found that 60% acknowledged Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals as a key reason to visit the capital, with a third (33%) saying they were also likely to spend more as a result.
Footfall remained buoyant across the first weekend of December, with footfall on Saturday 2 December in line with 2019 levels, even as the capital endured a cold snap. The weekend also marked the return of the West End’s ‘Magic Days’ campaign – a series of festive ‘surprise and delight’ moments, from on-street entertainment to exclusive in-store deals, which will run across three weekends in December.
To celebrate this positive start to the trading season, as well showcase all that is on offer across the West End this Christmas, New West End Company has partnered with Outernet, one of the U.K.’s leading visitor attractions, to screen Oxford Street’s first festive advert. The advert follows two little girls as they wonder at the festive activities in the West End this Christmas; from the life-size enchanted snow globe presented by Uniqlo at Outernet, to the district’s very first ice-rink nestled in Hanover Square. It will be premiere exclusively on the Outernet’s Vista screens on the afternoon of 7 December.
Dee Corsi, Chief Executive at New West End Company, commented: “Across the last 12 months, the entrenchment of hybrid working patterns has seen footfall plateau at an average of 20% lower than 2019 levels. So to see two consecutive weekends of significant uplift is cause for quiet optimism, and will be welcomed by businesses across the district during what is a critical trading period.”
“With so much to be positive about, we are delighted to be celebrating the West End’s unique offering with the district’s very first festive advert - and what better place to premiere it that the Outernet, which is already one of the U.K.’s most popular visitor attractions just 12 months after it opened its doors.
“It is clear that exceptional experiences, from physical retail to immersive leisure, continue to be a draw for both domestic and international visitors. It is this fact which has enabled the West End to remain resilient in the face of challenging macro-economic conditions. ”
Philip O’Ferrall, Chief Executive, Outernet Global, added: “It’s fantastic to see the continued resurgence of the West End as we approach Christmas. This is exactly what the businesses in the area need and is a testament to their hard work and the vibrancy of this part of London.
“At Outernet we have been providing audiences with groundbreaking free to view immersive experiences on our screens drawing in mass audiences and putting us up there with some of the most visited attractions in the UK. This is good for all our neighbouring businesses with the area enjoying a real renaissance as somewhere exciting and inclusive to come to."
Forecasts released by New West End Company in November predicted that consumer spending could reach up to £1.64 billion over the festive period, with domestic spend spiking on Black Friday and 23rd December (the last Saturday before Christmas), and international spend peaking on Boxing Day.
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