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The annual Carnaby style night disappointed both shoppers and brands as it failed to live up to the previous years of success.

Despite collaboration with men’s magazine GQ, this year’s Soho based evening only managed to bring in half the shoppers and tourists compared with last year.

The night, that took place last Thursday, offered shoppers 20% off well-known brands, restaurants and bars located along and around Carnaby street. It aimed to draw people in, offering them not just the discount but free food tastings, music, haircuts, and cocktails.

On the Carnaby Street website, the event organisers described the night to be “bigger and better than ever”, however, not everyone agrees that the evening turned out as expected.

Carmina Fallas, sales assistant for Office, said that “the night lacked entertainment, we were so much busier last year and as a result we overstaffed this time around and ended up not even breaking a sweat”.

Down the road in Vans, assistant manager, Eoin McCormack, even went as far as to say that “It was like a normal Saturday trade for us. We took five thousand pounds less than last year and it’s because they lacked advertising, not enough people knew about it.”

However, some brands didn’t fare as badly. Surprisingly, the makeup and cosmetics shops such as Mac and Benefit both had successful evenings. Mac makeup artist, Francois Letérve, said, “the event brought a lot of people in, especially with the discount offered, however we did notice that the event was run by GQ and so it was aimed more towards a male audience”.

Benefit staff said that their PR team worked hard to make the evening a success, even bringing in a candyfloss machine to attract shoppers.

This was the first year that the restaurants and bars were included in the 20% discount offer, however manager at Pizza Pilgrims, Natalie Ballinger, said “only a handful of people actually showed us the voucher for the discount, I don’t think that many people knew about it, also the weather was horrible and that always has an impact.”

Overall, an event that was intended to bring in trade and highlight this vibrant area of Soho, ended up costing businesses more in staffing as they expected a busy night.

When asked, Carnaby street events team refused to comment on the unsuccessful evening.


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