LONDON — The British capital's West End has been ranked as the top retail destination in Europe, according to data from New West End Company. The industry group, which represents retailers on London’s Bond Street, Oxford Street and Regent Street, launched its 2016 Global Retail Destination Index at MIPIM, the annual real estate trade show held in Cannes, which kicked off Tuesday.The report, created in association with real estate firm Savills, surveyed shopping destinations around the globe, rating them from a visitor and retailer angle.According to the report, while London’s West End was placed first in Europe, it was second globally, with New York City noted as first. In terms of the British capital’s retail sales, they are forecast to surpass New York City's “with an average growth of 2.9 percent per annum through to the end of 2020, compared to 2.7 percent per annum forecast for New York.”International visitors have boosted London’s West End, with 96 percent of retailers noting “London as a place to trade” with retail sales to “increase by 27.8 percent to 11.3 billion pounds, or $16.4 billion, by 2020” with the arrival of Crossrail, a new railway which is slated to launch that year. It was reported that an additional 60 million people are forecast to come to London annually.New West End Company reported last December that the company won its bid to become one of the first U.K. Property Owner Business Improvement Districts. The status secures a 16 million pound, or $22.8 million, investment plan, which will be carried out in the next five years.“The 'Window to the World' report demonstrates London’s West End’s positive impact on the local and national economy as well as on the property and retail market,” New West End Company chief executive officer Jace Tyrrell said. “Supported by the Property Owner Business Improvement District, I am confident that London’s West End will significantly grow over the next five years, securing its position as the top retail destination in Europe and in the top two in the world."
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