Population (2007): 7.56 million
Number of retailers (2007): 28,815, or 15 percent of all the U.K.’s retailers.
Shoppers visiting the West End: 200 million annually
Hotels (2006): 564
Price of the two-bedroom Linley Suite at Claridge’s: 2,190 pounds, or $3,264, a night.
Most popular tourist attraction: The British Museum, with 5.4 million visitors.
Price of afternoon tea at the Ritz: 37 pounds, or $55.
U.S. tourists’ spending in London (2007): 1.5 billion pounds, or $2.2 billion.
Bestsellers at TopShop’s Oxford Circus Store (November): Black wet-look leggings and Baxter skinny jeans in indigo.
Visitors to September 2008 London Fashion Week: 5,000
Average number of rain days annually: 153
• A bronze statue of dandy Beau Brummell stands in Jermyn Street, which is lined with gentlemen’s shops from shirting specialists Turnbull & Asser to shoemakers like John Lobb.
• In the 1700s, Oxford Street was a showcase for entertainers when The Pantheon, an entertainment space and later a theater, was on the street. The building was converted to a bazaar in 1834, and Marks & Spencer has occupied it since 1937.
SOURCES: London Retail Consortium, Visit London, Claridge’s, The Ritz, New West End Company, An Office of National Statistics passenger survey, Topshop, British Fashion Council, bbc.co.uk, british-history.ac.uk, Halifax building society using data from the Office of National Statistics