Olympics fail to trigger sales surge in Barking

The Olympics have failed to spark a significant increase in sales in Barking, interviews conducted by the Post show.

Shopkeepers at the Vicarage Field mall in Ripple Road, Barking, said they had not noticed any surge in trading - exactly a week after the opening ceremony.

Shops did report an increase in the number of tourists and people said they were happy the Games were being held in east London.

But Ladbrokes in Station Parade, Barking, said punters had showed little interest in placing bets on the Olympics and Barking Market reported only a slight surge in sales.

Market clothes trader Mohammad Qusim, 22, said: “It’s improved a little bit since the beginning of the Games.

“People come here and they buy. Traffic is a little bit busy, but not too much. They have organised the Games well.”

Umer Riaz, 25, of WH Smith at Vicarage Field shopping centre, said: “Footfall hasn’t increased. It’s the same.

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“Barking is a bit far from the Olympic Village. I live in Leyton. The Walthamstow mall has seen a huge increase in shoppers.”

Anna Matthews, 36, manager of Ladbrokes in Barking, said: “It has been pretty quiet on the Olympic front.

“We haven’t done many Olympic bets at all. I guess online it’s different and Stratford is probably busy.

“I thought we were going to get lots of tourists and they would stay here, but it’s normal.”

Martin James, 31, of the 3 Store at Vicarage Fields, said: “A lot of Americans and different nationalities want pay-as-you-go packages.

“It’s more diverse but we don’t have more customers.”

Simiran Kaur, 25, of the First Fashion shop at the Barking mall, added: “So many people have come from other countries. Lots of people are enjoying the Olympics.”