Mayor of London Boris Johnson in the West End

Central London could benefit from up to 2,000 new jobs with the proposal to extend Sunday trading hours.

The commitment is supported by London Mayor Boris Johnson MP and some of the UK’s biggest retailers.

Knightsbridge and West End businesses have joined the pledge after the Treasury announced last week that it is to consider giving local areas the power to extend trading hours for retailers.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, says:

“Proposed changes to Sunday trading regulations could revolutionise the shopping experience for millions of Londoners and visitors to the city and enhance the capital’s position as an international shopping destination.  We are now working to see how this can be best applied in the West End, to bring it into line with our global competitors and generate the extra jobs and income the city needs.”

Chancellor George Osborne cited New West End Company research in the announcement, which confirms that an extra two hours of trading on Sunday would boost Central London businesses by £260m each year and provide an additional 2,000 jobs.

The research, carried out by Volterra Partners, found that together with the launch of Crossrail, the potential extension of Sunday trading hours could lead to almost 100 percent uplift in West End turnover, climbing from £8.8bn in 2014 to an estimated £16bn by 2025.

Proposals to extend Sunday trading hours in the West End and London’s major shopping hubs are supported by policies in the Mayor of London’s overall planning strategy for the capital, the London Plan.

Sir Peter Rogers, Chairman of New West End Company, says:

“For years we have been urging the Government to create a more flexible Sunday trading environment.

“Not only will the move bring further employment but allows us to better compete with other retail hubs around the world, many of which offer 24 hour facilities.  While we recognise that extended trading hours may not be appropriate across the UK, in the West End and Knightsbridge, it will have a transformative effect.”

Michael Ward, managing director at Harrods, has also backed the pledge:

“It is in the nature of the retailers who work on some of the capital’s most iconic streets to use ambition to bring the best service to the hundreds of thousands of visitors who flock here every year.

“The pledge to create thousands of new jobs fits into a programme of measures which will keep London at the forefront of global retail destinations, and as one we are proud to be part of such an exciting time in the area’s history.”

Title image credit: Davide D’Amico