Retail sales are set to soar by 3.5 percent in 2012 thanks to the Olympic Games and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, a business improvement company has predicted.
London's West End retailers are optimistic that sales will reach £7.7bn in 2012 with key events driving momentum, according to a report commissioned by New West End Company.
Growth in retail sales are expected to be seen in the city's major shopping districts including Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, offsetting a slow start to the year and a bleak forecast for UK retail in 2012.
The prediction follows strong December trading as West End retailers reported a sales upswing of 6.8 percent year-on-year.
Key findings from the report claim that 17.8 percent additional retail spend will occur in June and July during the Queen's Jubilee and the Olympics, with West End retailers expected to make an additional £16.6 million in revenue as a direct benefit of the high-profile events.
The prediction comes in contrast to a recent study commissioned by BT showing 93 percent of British businesses expect a negative impact from the Olympics and almost a third of British businesses saying they were unprepared for the 2012 games.
New West End Company's figures, compiled by the British Retail Consortium and customer counting service Springboard, showed overall sales and footfall to the West End increased by 3.1 percent and 1.7 percent respectively in 2011, against national results of 0.1 percent and -1.1 percent.
According to research by OMD Insights, 95 percent of shoppers consider London's West End to be one of the world's top shopping destinations.
Richard Dickinson, chief executive of New West End Company, said the forecast shows that the West End is due to see better economic times.
"Our latest forecasts indicate that the central London retail economy is likely to bounce back and can make a strong contribution," he said.
Retail analyst at Verdict, Maureen Hinton, said the West End was bound to outperform the rest of UK retail as it had the advantage of being a prime tourist shopping destination as well as having a high-profile reputation for UK shoppers.
"The forecast of 3.5 percent growth looks achievable even though we at Verdict are predicting a 0.5 percent fall in non-food sales for total UK retail in 2012," she said.
The mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said businesses throughout the West End have a unique opportunity to reap the benefits when visitors come to London in 2012.
"London undoubtedly has the best shopping district in the world and I have every confidence that retailers are doing all they can to plan, prepare and profit from the games," he said.
Chief executive of luxury brand thinktank Walpole, Julia Carrick, said British high-end brands were enjoying a renaissance with products by Burberry and Mulberry going from strength to strength in the UK and internationally.
"With all eyes on London this year, tourists will be flocking more than ever to own a piece of British heritage," she said.
Gordon Innes, chief executive of promotional organisation London & Partners, called the figures hugely encouraging. He said London's West End, with its unique mix and variety of retail, was "second to none".
"We have a huge opportunity this year to showcase what London has to offer every visitor; highlight its commercial successes and fully harness the attraction of the capital's retail opportunities," he said.