Londoners spend £100 million in the West End on first day of lockdown easing

Jesse Williams

By Jesse Williams

Jesse Williams

13 Apr 2021

West End bosses said the first day after the easing of lockdown restrictions had “far exceeded expectations”, with Londoners spending an almighty £100m in a single day.

“Shoppers appear to be feeling ever more confident as a result of the vaccination programme and this has delivered the strongest reopening day of the pandemic to date with many more shopping bags in evidence”, said Jace Tyrrell, chief executive of the New West End Company, which represents 600 businesses in the West End.

“We’ve still a long way to go before we’re fully back on our feet and West End businesses will continue to need extra government support until international visitors return in force.”

The dash to the shops wasn’t just limited to Londonbowerr with millions descending on town centres and retail spaces all over the nation. Analysts Kantar suggested spending could be back to pre-pandemic levels within as little as two months, after an estimated seven million customers filled town centres yesterday.

Scenes in the West End on ‘Bounce back Monday’

In all the free flowing spending concerns that “social distancing” rules were going largely unobserved were raised. Images from Soho and across the country showed tightly packed streets with the number of shoppers up by 146 per cent on Monday last week.

Westminster City Council said it was aware of “isolated incidents of crowding” and that it was working with businesses to ensure they were operating “responsibly and safely in line with guidance” going forward.