Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Monday, 8 December 2008

Sales boom in London's West End

Oxford Street shops
It is the third time the traffic-free day has been held

Retailers in London's West End have reported a spike in sales as more than two million people descended on the area for its annual traffic-free day.

The New West End Company, which represents shops in the area, said sales were up almost 10% on last year.

It said the lure of vehicle-free Oxford and Regent streets, combined with a wide range of discounts, helped shops to "kick-start" their Christmas sales.

The traffic-free day on Saturday was organised for the third year in a row.

Jace Tyrell, spokesman for the area's merchants, said lower interest rates and the small reduction in VAT announced by the government are beginning to filter down onto the high street.

"This weekend has really been the kick-start that we were looking for," he said.

"We hope the trend can continue for the next two-and-a-half weeks [until Christmas]."



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