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Letter From London: Vital Stats

POPULATION (2007): 7.56 million

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.

This story first appeared in the December 24, 2008 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

• 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,,, Halifax building society using data from the Office of National Statistics

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