London's Knightsbridge footfall almost back to 2019 levels
More good news for UK retail footfall in a key area of London, which outperformed most of the capital with better-than-expected numbers in the pre- and post-Christmas periods.
High profile retailers in the upmarket Knightsbridge area — which includes Harrods, Harvey Nichols and Burberry’s flagship store -- said shopper numbers approached 2019 levels in the area in the first week of the post-Christmas sales.
Figures compiled by the Knightsbridge Partnership said local footfall was 45% higher between 26 December and 2 January than the same week the previous year, reported the Evening Standard.
It was also just 1% short of equivalent numbers in the pre-pandemic 2019 period.
Knightsbridge shopper numbers were the busiest on the first day of the Boxing Day sales than on any other during the week, the report also said.
The numbers were also supported by strong footfall in the week before Christmas, with shopper visits increasing 18.8% in the area compared to the previous pre-Christmas week. The numbers were also well ahead of the wider London trend where visits were 3.4% lower.
Steve Medway, CEO of the Knightsbridge Partnership, said the figures were a “pleasant surprise… transport strikes, cost of living and snowfall do not appear to have dampened Christmas spirit,” he said.
Harrods MD Michael Ward added: “This year’s Boxing Day sales have so far outperformed our expectations for this year.”
However, Medway also called on the government to think about how the area competes with the likes of Paris and Milan, which currently offer incentives, such as tax-free shopping, to consumers.
“For the international shopper, the return of tax-free shopping would put us back in the game versus international shopping destinations,” he said.
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