As consumers continue to spend following several years of recession, retailers and groups within the industry are seeking ways in which to capitalise on this upturn by boosting footfall levels and dwell times. This could see shops and bars in Canary Wharf open round the clock next year as a result of extended tube hours due to be rolled out early in 2015.
Transport for London (TfL) recently announced that a “Night Tube” service will be introduced in order to improve the public transport, allowing areas such as Canary Wharf to be completely accessible 24 hours per day. The changes will impact the area’s Jubilee line, along with all other major lines in London.
Chief administrative officer at Canary Wharf Group, Camille Waxer, indicates that the group is currently examining the possibility of offering retail tenants extended opening hours.
She said; “It will certainly make us consider 24 hour trading for future retailing at Canary Wharf.
“It will definitely provide an opportunity for more people to visit Canary Wharf with the extended hours so in theory it should result in additional sales.”
At present, there are 300 shops and bars in the Canary Wharf area, which in the past 20 years has been transformed from a derelict Docklands brownfield site into a booming financial and retail centre.
Of the 14,000,000 sq ft of office and retail space contained within the area, 7,900,000 sq ft is owned by the Canary Wharf Group, meaning its decision regarding trading hours will have a significant implication for businesses operating in the area.
Although retailers could certainly stand to benefit from longer opening hours, it is Canary Wharf’s bar and nightclub scene which is set to reap the greatest rewards. Bars currently close at midnight in order to allow consumers time to reach the local station before the final tube train departs – yet with a round the clock tube service due to be introduced, this limitation will effectively be removed.
Should shops be given the opportunity to open 24 hours per day, this will be a further fight back against the growth of online shopping which has forced retailers to adapt to changing consumer habits over the past few years. Furthermore, with click and collect lockers expected to be introduced to the station in the coming months, shops will be able to extend their reach still further and, hopefully, attract even greater numbers of consumers to Canary Wharf’s growing retail offering.
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