Following Westminster's purge of the Oxford Street sandwich boards whose draconian fines kicked in yesterday, the New West End Company (another of those BID companies) is also taking steps to improve the 'up West' shopping experience by quizzing its 100,000 retail staff on their knowledge of the "wonders" of the area.
The company, funded by the area's businesses aims to make shopping in the West End a more pleasant experience for tourists and locals alike and have deemed it valuable that shop staff should know:
the number of people who visit the neighborhood each day (500,000), the amount of green space (125 acres, or 50 hectares) and the number of restaurants with Michelin stars (17)
Really? Surely it would be more useful for them to do a West End 'Knowledge' style quiz that might help them direct tourists to the Houses of Parliament, the Lion King or the nearest Aberdeen Angus Steak House? Encouraging shop workers to be walking compendiums of on the ground tourist information, like, are there public toilets near by, where's a policeman when you need one and why is it raining in the middle of August sounds eminently more sensible to us.
However, respondents are being incentivised by the prospect of winning a prize draw freebie of a luxury weekend break in the - yes - West End. Here's hoping it's for a dead plush top hotel because we can imagine after 12 hours on your feet in H&M or Hamleys, sweet refuge from the shopping streets is the best reward.