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Olympics boost to West End footfall

Footfall around London's West End has risen as a direct result of the Olympic Games, new data suggests.

Experian has been keeping track of the Olympic boon all over the capital and said that shoppers flooded to the city's main shopping districts on Tuesday 7 August in particular.

This was the same day as the Olympic Triathlon, retail-week.com reports.

On that day the West End saw a 13.5 per cent uplift in footfall - with most shoppers drawn to luxury stores. The Westfield shopping centre in Stratford, East London - nearby the majority of the Games venues - meanwhile saw footfall drop by 8.3 per cent.

Retailers in the West End, which is home to more than 2,500 restaurants and bars, and 2,000 shops, have noticed the increase.

Profits at luxury stores such as Mulberry and Alexander McQueen jumped 13.1 per cent, year-on-year, in the first weekend of the Games, according to bbc.co.uk. While this is great news for store owners, they'll want to be sure their cash collections run on time to minimise the chances of cash being left on site overnight. This of course could be a great opportunity for would-be thieves.

Jace Tyrrell, director of communications at the New West End Company, which promotes business in the West End, accredits wealthy guests and late-running Tubes for the boost in sales.

"Luxury goods are doing well in pockets," he says. "Those travelling here with Olympic sponsors, or International Olympic Committee VIPs for example, are quite happy to go shopping in Mayfair to find exclusive pieces - high revenue pieces. The Burberry bag or a pair of designer shoes... I would say between luxury goods and bread-and-butter goods, luxury is doing slightly better in the West End."

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