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Westfield London: Shopping Heaven or Hell of a Centre?


Posted At: 07 November 2008 15:00 PM
Related Categories: Retail, Retail Property, Town & Shopping Centre Management


Well, I jumped on this bandwagon and visited the new Westfield development in London, along with all the other curious people with notepad in hand, rather than wallet!

What can I say?  It’s big!  But then that’s no surprise as we already knew we were betting the largest in-town shopping and leisure destination in Europe.

The food court area was very much the centre of scheme and was very busy when I arrived at 2pm – possibly all those people updating their notepads, rather than weary shoppers taking a break!  Certainly very few of them had any bags.
Sadly, much of The Village is not yet open and Louis Vuitton, the one they have been harping on about for ages, will not open its doors until March 2009!  Also, rather curiously, the House of Fraser department store is at the end of village and unless you come from Shepherds Bush station you could easily miss it.

The size of the centre is daunting and there’s probably some psychological theory which states that after a certain point, the success of the centre is in inverse proportion to its size (the retail consultants at FSP can probably get their heads round this better than I), but with the retailers clustered in merchandise groups e.g. jewellery all together, your shopping trip can perhaps be accomplished without having to trawl the whole 1.6m ft2 of it to find what you want!

Along with a load of retailers you probably never heard of – which, like Golden Point and Yamamay, are already featured on SnapShop – there are the old favourites, like Clintons, Beauty Base and Superdrug. Curiously, the location of these established retailers, which seem to be geared to the less well healed visitor, is an area which they have cleverly made to feel like the old part of the centre as if it was already there (weird)!

My verdict is that Westfield London is well worth a visit.  Its big, there are some interesting new retailers and some favourites that have upped their game. However the lack of retailers open in the village was a disappointment and the frankly run of the mill department store offer means Selfridges won't be shutting up shop any time soon!

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The opinions expressed herein are the personal opinion of the author and are not intended as statements of fact and do not represent the view of SnapShop or Pragma in any way.


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