‘Short term pain will create long term gain for British Business calling the Olympics a disaster is wrong’

Selfridges said in a statement that the last week had been “quieter than normal”.

“As expected, there has been a reduction in visitors to the West End since the Olympics began, which has had some impact on our footfall too.”

Data collected by research group Experian seems to support this – it said the number of people going to stores in east London on Monday and Tuesday was 9.6% lower than a year ago, while footfall in west London fell by 4.5%. It said: “We think this is as a result of people mainly going to the shopping centre adjacent to the Olympic Park.”

However Transport for London said the number of Tube journeys was up by a small margin from an average 3m weekday trips normally expected in the summer, while Docklands Light Railway (DLR) journeys had gone up significantly.

TFL said: “The public transport system remains busy with Tube journeys up by 10.5% on Tuesday and record DLR ridership on Monday, up 65% on what would be expected at this time of year.

“Journeys to stations serving the West End on Monday remained at the same levels seen this time last year.”

British entrepreneur Will Davies, MD of aspect.co.uk, believes the short-term pain caused for London businesses on the back of the Olympics will ultimately create long term gain.

“David Cameron is calling for Brits who fled the capital to come back early to rescue businesses – but that is clearly not going to happen”.

“Things are going to be dissplaced for the next week or so”.

“However, the bounce for business after the Olympics will be immense,” he says.

“Clearly there is an intense focus and concentration on the Olympic Park area during the Games, but London businesses, like all British businesses, will experience long term gain from the world focus of a succesful games, and the festival atmosphere that will continue in Britain on the lead up to Christmas”.