EACH year shops face a struggle when the summer arrives as the three month period of June, July and August tends to be a notoriously quiet time for the high street. Now add into the mix the world's biggest sporting extravaganza and many expected a ghost town scenario. Well not in Hammersmith. Rupert Basham speaks to Susannah Frieze of business improvement district HammersmithLondon to find out why the town had such a prosperous summer.
GIVE it all the superlatives you like, there's simply no getting away from the fact that London has just experienced a summer like no other.
The naysayers were proved wrong as instead of misery there was a city united in jubilation as Team GB recorded its best medal haul since it first hosted the Olympic games in 1908.
However with the highs of golden glory come the lows of diminished footfall as town centres stayed quiet over the summer months.
As was shown in Sydney with the 2000 Olympics and Manchester with the 2002 Commonwealth Games, high streets don't fare well during these colossal sporting events, instead enjoying a spike afterwards.
However Hammersmith bucked this trend with businesses reporting a healthy boost in trade.
During June there was an 8 per cent increase in footfall compared to the same period in 2011, seven per cent in July and 3 per cent in August.
"Central London was either the same or down as an average," said Susannah Frieze, business liaison manager for HammersmithLondon, "the fact that we've recorded an increase on a high street is fantastic.
"Fifteen per cent of our businesses have seen more trade during these past three months with six per cent saying they've had a lot more.
"In a lot of town centres things stayed the same or dropped but in Hammersmith it was a much better story."
For the past six years the town's Business Improvement District (BID), HammersmithLondon have tried to combat this down time by organising a yearly summer festival in the hope of bringing people to the area.
The festival, which consists of a giant TV in Lyric Square, deck chairs and interactive theatre, has succeeded in this goal and has progressively grown year-on-year.
In anticipation for this year's summer of sport, HammersmithLondon decided it would increase the length of the summer festival from six weeks to three months so it could include Wimbledon, the Olympics and Paralympics.
With the latest figures showing that Hammersmith not only weathered the Olympic storm but actually benefitted, it seems that it was a gamble that successfully paid off.
Mrs Frieze, said: "The festival this year was a great success. The other biggest, big screen around was in Hyde Park which was harder to drop into and wasn't near any local cafes and shops, so people would have had to have bought inside the park therefore making it a more expensive experience.
"In Hammersmith people weren't confined to sponsorship deals so could get a sandwich from anywhere and sit in the square - Marks and Spencer reported that it had a really positive impact.
"Extending it to three months was a massive expense and gamble but we think it really paid off. We surveyed people and an average of 90 per cent thought the events were excellent. During the opening ceremony we had around 1,500 people in Lyric Square - the William Morris pub recorded its best ever night."
As well as the big screen HammersmithLondon provided a host of entertainment, such as an outdoor version of Alice in Wonderland and performances from a the Chinese drummers who featured in Beijing's breathtaking 2008 opening ceremony.
As well as attracting visitors the summer festival has helped to strengthen the HammersmithLondon brand for people and businesses.
With thousands of likes on their Facebook page and hundreds of Twitter followers the festival has been a huge success for the organisation who have been tasked by traders with the responsibilty of making Hammersmith an attractive shopping destination.
"It has been a great summer," continued Mrs Frieze, "It could have backfired, especially as the weather wasn't always fantastic, but people really responded to the festival and Hammersmith benefitted as a result.
"Now we just need to figure out what we're going to do next year."