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London shops saw a decrease in customer footfall over the weekend

London retailers suffering due to Olympics overcrowding fears

Central London shops saw a decrease in visitors ahead of the opening ceremony.

The number of store visitors on Friday was 10.4 per cent lower than a year ago reports research group Experian.

Saturday saw an even lower dip of 11.7 per cent. This was no surprise to retail analysts who predicted fears of overcrowding would cause shoppers to stay indoors.

Neil Saunders, managing director of Conlumio, suggests the lack of shoppers won’t last very long. “We’ll most likely see a quick return to shopping levels in central London as soon as the games are over, or even before, as people realise that the capital is far from struggling to cope."

The data reveals that Saunders may be right, as customer footfall in central London was up 1.6 per cent from last year on Sunday. Experian have yet to release Monday’s figures.

The footfall figures for east London, where the Olympic Stadium is located in Stratford, showed that the number of shoppers in that part of the city fell by 7.2 per cent on Friday from a year ago, and by 7.5 per cent on Saturday, before increasing 12.6 per cent on Sunday.

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