With the new Elizabeth Line Bond Street stations due to open at the end of next year the West End is set to see a huge increase in visitor numbers and works are already underway to improve the experience for shoppers visiting the area.
The £10 million public realm upgrade of Bond Street has already begun. The project is estimated to last 18 months and will improve the experience for pedestrians by widening footpaths and creating a more pedestrian friendly feel. The cracked footway paving will be replaced with Yorkstone, green granite and silver granite paving and the improvements will be made across both New and Old Bond Street. The intention is to create an even more desirable location for luxury shoppers.
In addition, the New West End Company's Commercial Vehicle Reduction Scheme is already having an impact on the area. Its aim is to reduce the number of vans loading and unloading on Bond Street, which in turn will result in a cleaner, less congested street, improving the experience for visitors.
Bond Street is home to some of the world's most prestigious retailers, with a wealth of elegant stores, exclusive brands, designer fashion, luxury goods, fine jewels, art and antiques. Lord Bruce Dundas, chairman of the Bond Street Association, said of the improvements “Bond Street has a reputation as one of the world’s leading shopping destinations; it is essential that the street reflects this status. Set in the heart of Mayfair, one of London’s wealthiest and most exclusive enclaves, the Bond Street improvements will ensure that the street echoes the high standard of its heritage and that customers are greeted with a clean, spacious environment, offering a luxury experience both in and outside of the stores.”
Improvements to the retail environment are happening all over the West End. Grosvenor's public realm proposal on Mount Street revived the street through improving the pedestrian experience, putting in place high quality surfacing materials and strengthening the physical and visual links to the surrounding green spaces. This all makes Mount Street a more desirable place to visit and shop. Grosvenor has also announced plans to transform Berkeley Square. It plans to increase the area's appeal through enhancements to the public realm and improving the visual environment and decluttering.
Westminster City Council and Transport for London have also launched a major public consultation about the long term vision for the Oxford Street District to enhance the West End's position as the world's top shopping area.
Improving the environment for visitors and pedestrians is important to retailers because it improves the quality of the shopping experience, which encourages consumers to visit stores.