New West End Company CEO sets out 10 targets for 2020

28th May 2016

Photo credit: My Retail Media

As business and local community leaders joined New West End Company last night to celebrate ten years of representing businesses in the UK’s top shopping district, newly appointed chief executive Jace Tyrrell was determined not to sit on his laurels.

Previously deputy chief executive, Tyrrell will now oversee the business into its second decade of managing the stores and trade along what it sees as London’s “retail heartland” of the West End, Oxford Street, Bond Street and Regent Street. It’s an area that includes Europe’s busiest shopping street and one of the most expensive and sought after strips of real estate in the continent.

Taking stock of the area’s achievements in the past ten years- which were by no means an easy period for any retailers in the UK, battling increased competition from online businesses as well as the recession and Eurozone crisis- New West End Company revealed it has invested £50 million into the area, with the shopping district achieving a 90 per cent increase in turnover.

The investment of the UK’s largest retail-led Business Improvement District (BDI) supported a number of major improvements in the past decade. Some £15 million was spent on public realm enhancements, including 100 new wayfinding signs to assist 640,000 daily visitors, many of which are tourists eager to stop by the many retail destinations the West End now affords. A 20 per cent reduction in bus traffic along Oxford Street and the creation of 1,350 new West End jobs were also highlights of the evening- but the business partnership didn’t stop there.

Looking ahead, Tyrrell believes there’s still plenty more to achieve in the next five years, as the new chief executive unveiled ten new targets for 2020. Priorities include a 50 per cent reduction in all traffic in the core West End, 2,000 new jobs and apprenticeships, and a 10 per cent increase in sales from major campaigns. The company will be looking to increase visitor dwell time by 30 minutes, and generate £4.5 million in additional commercial income a year.

The list in full:
50% vehicle reduction of all traffic in the core West End
£10m Bond Street improvement plan delivered
£4.5m commercial income raised annually to match retail BID levy
Increase visitor dwell time by 30 minutes
£3m direct spend generated a year from ‘By Appointment’ service
£500m capital investment and 10 new global retail openings
£100m in media coverage
2,000 new West End jobs created with Recruit London and local apprenticeships
10% sales uplift from major events and campaigns
85% member satisfaction

And the business partnership isn’t waiting around to achieve these. New West End Company sees the opening of the Elizabeth line as increasing gross development value by at least £2.5 billion, boosting retail sales to £10 billion annually and bringing in 60 million more visitors to the area on a yearly basis.

New West End Company has also singled out work with the new mayor of London, Westminster City Council and Transport for London as being key influencers in helping the West End become the world’s number one retail and leisure destination.

Commenting on the past decade and the future retail vision for the West End, Jace Tyrrell, chief executive at New West End Company, said: “We have achieved so much over the past 10 years, but our businesses are facing greater trading challenges and there is still more to deliver. London’s retail heartland is an integral economic asset to the UK, generating £8.48 billion annually in sales and employing 160,000 people. It is crucial that we continue to improve the area and policies are adopted that attract shoppers, improve air quality, create jobs and secure investment; all vital elements to maintain the unique environment that has made the West End world renowned.”

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “London’s vibrant West End is an important contributor to the city’s economy, supporting jobs and attracting visitors from across the world. Over the last ten years the New West End Company has done a first-class job of supporting this area’s interests. In line with my pledge to be the most business-friendly Mayor of London ever, I will do all I can to ensure the West End thrives.”

Ava Szajna

My Retail Media

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