50,000 jobs in London’s retail sector at risk as coronavirus pandemic sees drop in overseas visitors



a group of people walking down a street in front of a store


© Provided by Evening Standard


Tory MP Nickie Aiken has warned that as many as 50,0000 jobs could be lost in London’s West End due to the lack of visitors.

The MP for Westminster said the loss of international visitors had majorly impacted London’s economy.

Aiken said: “Almost half of the £10 billion annual spend in the West End is from overseas travellers and then the lack of office workers who have not been back at their desks since March, that has a huge effect on the overall turnover of West End shops and hospitality.

“Between about 70-80% – you’re basically looking at about 50,000 job losses retail job losses in West End retail alone.”

Aiken added that she suspected a “huge fall off in confidence” regarding the perceived safety of public transport was partly behind the drop in shoppers.

She continued: “We’ve got to get that back, we’ve got to get businesses, the Mayor of London and Government to work together to provide that confidence to get people back in.”

Restaurant and hospitality sectors have already been badly damaged in London.

Pret A Manager and Pizza Express have both announced closures in recent weeks and heavy job losses.

The top end has not been immune either with Richard Caring’s Le Caprice closing its doors.

Retail has also been badly damaged and both Harrods and Selfridges have warned earnings will be down this year.

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