Rush on New Year's Eve boosts West End

Retail sales in the West End of London broke the £100m barrier in the week to New Year's Eve, as shops benefited from a late surge of bargain hunters.

Shops posted a rise in underlying sales of up to 3 per cent over the week to 31 December. A spokesman for New West End Company, representing 600 shops in Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, said: "It was a last-minute surge to the end of the year."

Star performers were luxury retailers, such as at Selfridges, which delivered the most lucrative hour in its history on Boxing Day, taking £1.3m in the period. John Lewis benefited from strong demand for the latest technology products.

In the light of this final rush, NWEC has forecast that like-for-like sales for the year will be 2.5 per cent higher than 2010.

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