West End shops to enjoy £50m boost

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The Independent Online

The royal wedding is set to give shops in London's West End a £50 million boost, it was revealed today.

Around half a million extra shoppers are set to descend on the West End over the four-day bank holiday weekend starting tomorrow.

"We anticipate that 500,000 additional shoppers will give retailers a £50 million royal wedding boost," said Jace Tyrrell, of the New West End Company, which represents 600 retailers in London's Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street.

The company added that sales would continue to go well due to a "halo honeymoon effect" lasting into May.

Simon Burdess, trading director of Fortnum & Mason, said: "We are very excited about the royal wedding. Sales of commemorative products, including our own range of china and food items, have exceeded expectation in the run-up to the big day."

Michelle Dowdall, spokeswoman for Debenhams, said: "Royal wedding memorabilia has been flying out of stores in recent weeks, with many lines selling out already in our Oxford Street flagship store.

"As visitors and tourists descend on London, there will no doubt still be huge demand for these items over the weekend."

Some West End in-store staff are set to don top hats and wear fascinators tomorrow in a "Wear a hat to work day" for one of Prince William's charities - Beatbullying.