Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OXFORD STREET'S [Pounds sterling]5BN SALES BOOM; RECORD SHOPPING SPREE REVEALED AS ECONOMY RECOVERS 'Transformation Has Been Phoenix-Like'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

OXFORD STREET'S [Pounds sterling]5BN SALES BOOM; RECORD SHOPPING SPREE REVEALED AS ECONOMY RECOVERS 'Transformation Has Been Phoenix-Like'

Article excerpt

Byline: Jonathan Prynn Consumer Business Editor

A MASSIVE Oxford Street spending spree will send this year's store sales racing past the [pounds sterling]5 billion barrier for the first time, the Standard can reveal today.

A post-Olympic tourism boom and recent improvements, such as a second Primark flagship store near Tottenham Court Road, have helped Europe's busiest shopping street see off the challenge from the two vast Westfield centres.

Property consultant David Kenningham said: "I've been dealing with this market for 25 years but Oxford Street and the West End are now as strong as they've ever been."

The new record came as Britain's GDP growth in the second quarter was upgraded from 0.6 to 0.7 per cent, raising hopes of a strong recovery after five years' economic stagnation.

Turnover on Oxford Street -- with more than 300 shops on its mile-and-a-half length -- was up 6.2 per cent in the first half of the year and will break [pounds sterling]5 billion by the New Year sales, according to new research by property consultants CBRE.

It means tills on Oxford Street alone take twice as much as the whole of England's second biggest city Birmingham -- and two-and-a-half times the two Westfield malls.

CBRE's head of retail Jonathan Demello said Oxford Street had undergone a "phoenix-like" transformation over the past 15 years, shaking off its reputation as a dreary avenue of lacklustre brands.

He added: "You have seen big improvements in the major stores, such as John Lewis. Selfridges now has nearly [pounds sterling]1 billion of sales in its own right, more than virtually any entire shopping mall in the country apart from the Westfields and perhaps Bluewater in Kent. If you put Oxford Street, Regent Street and Bond Street together you have the most concentrated agglomeration of retail in the world. …

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