Trading Historically High according to Shaftesbury

ShaftesburyDespite the economic downturn, business is booming as the West End in London faces a year of “unique challenges and potential opportunities.”

Property company, Shaftesbury, said that trading and occupancy levels in the West End are at “historically high levels” with “good” demand for all uses.

Shaftesbury owns over 500 restaurants and shops in the West End, including large parts of Covent Garden and Carnaby Street.

They said, “Trading in London’s West End has been buoyant throughout the important Christmas and New Year period, with resilient visitor numbers and spending.”

Only 0.8% of Shaftesbury’s properties are empty according to a trading update.

Shaftesbury is planning to press ahead with developments this year, to provide new restaurants and shops in the area, including a 50,000 sq ft development on Carnaby Street. This will help the whole industry including commercial restaurant insurance providers and provide jobs which will boost the economy.

London is benefitting from its position as a global city as more foreign visitors come and stay, which is leading to an influx of spending.

However, Brian Bickell, chief executive said London will have to put up with “short term disruption to the usual patterns of life” during the summer months.

He said, “2012 is a year of unique challenges and potential opportunities for London and the West End. Hosting three major global events between June and September – the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations, World Pride and the Olympics – presents many logistical and public safety challenges to an already busy and crowded city,

“This will lead to short term disruption to the usual patterns of life during the summer months.

“However these events will promote London and the West End to a global audience.

“We expect our portfolio, underpinned by the West End’s unique features, will continue to deliver long term out-performance in income growth and capital values.”

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