London watch retailers suffer 10% footfall tumble in tube strikes

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 06: A London Underground employee is glimpsed at a deserted Waterloo Tube Station on August 6, 2015 in London, England. London Underground workers are staging another 24 hour strike after management and unions failed to reach agreement over new night time services. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Watch retailers in London city centre suffered an estimated 10% tumble in footfall yesterday as a result of London Underground industrial action.

Key shopping locations including Oxford Street, Regent Street, Bond Street and Westfield’s two malls in Stratford and White City suffered as tube staff walked out at 6pm on Sunday in a row over ticket office closures.

Simon French, chief economist at Panmure Gordon, told City AM that the cost of the industrial action would be about £90 million on the capital. Staff absences and meeting cancellations added to the cost of reduced footfall for retailers.


In a report published by retail property body Revo, the previous strike in mid-2015 saw footfall plummet 8.9% compared with the same day on the year before.

Worryingly for retailers, shopper numbers also dropped on days either side of the strikes as London “struggled to get back to normal”.

Revo chief executive, Edward Cooke, is reported to have said he was expecting “similar disruption” this week.

Watch retailers in the city are already facing business rates revaluation, the introduction of the national living wage and a drop in the pound early on this year.

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