Just as birds flock south for the Winter, the arabs spend this month shopping in London. Hijab and burka wearing women and their offspring spend the cool days in London buying luxury goods and shopping at 'Please Mum'! Their arrival in London is signalled by limousines parked bumper to bumper outside Selfridges and queues inside the Dior and Chanel concessions. The western end of Oxford Street is now a mass of black wearing females and their designer shopping bags.
These high rolling shoppers help the stores during what would usually be a quiet time. Retailers brought their sales forward so as to have new merchandise for this high spending consumer. Buoyed by these and other tourists, this is what has insulated the London retail economy from the recession. It was interesting to learn yesterday that Northern luxury retailer Flannels is opening in Spitalfields. Flannels have struggled through the recession and had to close stores. it's interesting to see they are trying to get a piece of the London market. While the arabs may not make it to Spitalfields, the wealth they spend does filter down into our economy.