London

West End 'record sales' as 1m shop on no traffic day

Shoppers in the West End
Image caption More than one million people descended on the West End on Saturday

Retailers in London's West End said their "strongest trading day in three years" has seen one million shoppers visit stores on a traffic-free day.

Oxford Street and Regent Street were closed to all traffic from 1000 GMT on Saturday for seven hours.

The New West End Company, representing stores, said it expected up to two million shoppers to visit the area over the weekend, spending up to £250m.

More than 100 stores participated in the event, named Shop West End VIP Day.

Money raised by entertainers and fundraisers on the two streets will also be going to the Starlight Children's Foundation charity, which grants the wishes of seriously ill children.

'Stonking Saturday'

At least 1,000 buses were re-routed from Oxford Street and Regent Street.

Organiser Richard Dickinson, chief executive officer of New West End Company, said: "London's West End welcomed over one million shoppers.

Image caption Various events were held in the area to mark the shopping day

"Retailers are reporting that average transaction size is up today compared with the same day last year, creating stonking Saturday sales like no other day in the run up to Christmas."

Dynasty Actress Emma Samms, founder of Starlight Children's Foundation, said: "Thank you to every shopper that made a donation and to the retailers and the inspirational performers who today supported Starlight Children's Foundation.

"Together, an amazing contribution has been made and it will help Starlight grant wishes and provide hospital entertainment to brighten the lives of many sick children this Christmas."

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