Europe's largest urban shopping centre opens in Olympic area | RetailDetail

Europe's largest urban shopping centre opens in Olympic area

Tens of thousands of people celebrated the opening Europe's largest urban shopping centre yesterday, as London's Westfield Stratford City opened its doors for the public. 300 stores, over 50 restaurants, a casino, a cinema complex with 17 screens: 180,000 m² of retail and leisure were waiting to be discovered. The shopping centre is a highlight of the Stratford City redevelopment plans, along with the Olympic area and the Stratford International railway station.

International transport hub

Australia based Westfield, owning over 120 shopping centres in Australia, Great-Britain, New Zealand and the US, has done everything to accommodate the millions of expected visitors. In addition to the 5000 dedicated parking spaces, the company has invested £150 million (€170 million) in public transport facilities. The new shopping centre is situated next to two huge railway stations: Stratford International (with possible direct trains to Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt after the 2012 Olympics) and Stratford Regional (with one regional train per minute one of the busiest in the UK). 

No white elephant

“This will bring economic activity to east London that has been missing”, said Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield. The company hopes that 70% of the Olympic visitors will also explore the shopping centre, but remains confident that it will not become a white elephant when the Games are over. Four million consumers live in the catchment area, while public transport connections are excellent and there is no competition to speak of.

95% occupancy rate

One major success for Westfield is the occupancy rate, which was 95% at the time of opening, including retail giants like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Forever 21, Zara and H&M. Several stores however were not yet operational yesterday as many retailers apparently waited until Westfield Stratford City had attracted enough major retailers. The group maintains that all stores will be up and running before the holiday season of this year. 

18,000 new jobs

The shopping centre has been and will remain very important for employment in this former brownfield in one of London's poorest boroughs: an estimated 18,000 new jobs will be created – including 2000 for the local unemployed. London's mayor Boris Johnson stressed that this project was  triggering the “greatest regeneration in east London since the Middle Ages”. Westfield Stratford City has cost the Australian group 1.45 billion pounds (1.7 billion euro).  

 

Tens of thousands of people celebrated the opening Europe's largest urban shopping centre yesterday, as London's Westfield Stratford City opened its doors for the public. 300 stores, over 50 restaurants, a casino, a cinema complex with 17 screens: 180,000 m² of retail and leisure were waiting to be discovered. The shopping centre is a highlight of the Stratford City redevelopment plans, along with the Olympic area and the Stratford International railway station.

International transport hub

Australia based Westfield, owning over 120 shopping centres in Australia, Great-Britain, New Zealand and the US, has done everything to accommodate the millions of expected visitors. In addition to the 5000 dedicated parking spaces, the company has invested £150 million (€170 million) in public transport facilities. The new shopping centre is situated next to two huge railway stations: Stratford International (with possible direct trains to Brussels, Paris and Frankfurt after the 2012 Olympics) and Stratford Regional (with one regional train per minute one of the busiest in the UK). 

No white elephant

“This will bring economic activity to east London that has been missing”, said Frank Lowy, chairman of Westfield. The company hopes that 70% of the Olympic visitors will also explore the shopping centre, but remains confident that it will not become a white elephant when the Games are over. Four million consumers live in the catchment area, while public transport connections are excellent and there is no competition to speak of.

95% occupancy rate

One major success for Westfield is the occupancy rate, which was 95% at the time of opening, including retail giants like John Lewis, Marks & Spencer, Forever 21, Zara and H&M. Several stores however were not yet operational yesterday as many retailers apparently waited until Westfield Stratford City had attracted enough major retailers. The group maintains that all stores will be up and running before the holiday season of this year. 

18,000 new jobs

The shopping centre has been and will remain very important for employment in this former brownfield in one of London's poorest boroughs: an estimated 18,000 new jobs will be created – including 2000 for the local unemployed. London's mayor Boris Johnson stressed that this project was  triggering the “greatest regeneration in east London since the Middle Ages”. Westfield Stratford City has cost the Australian group 1.45 billion pounds (1.7 billion euro).  

 
Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Walmart and Microsoft team up to beat Amazon

18/07/2018

Two major American companies join forces to try to beat the omnipresent threat of Amazon: Walmart (Amazon's biggest competitor in retail) and Microsoft (Amazon's main rival in cloud services) have signed a strategic partnership for the next five years.

Sales of PCs grows for the first time in six years

13/07/2018

For the first time in six years computer sales showed growth again: in the second quarter of 2018 they increased by 1.4%. According to research firms Gartner and IDC, the sales increase is mainly due to growth in business markets.

Retailhub Inspiration Tour: the customer journey becomes very different

09/07/2018

Thanks to Retailhub by RetailDetail, Antwerp has one more unique retail hot spot. Professionals can experience the future of retail in the Benelux' only retail inspiration platform, with 1250 sqm of innovative technology and huge trends.

Breakthrough in Karstadt-Kaufhof merger

05/07/2018

Canadian Hudson’s Bay and Austrian Sigma Holding have not reached a preliminary agreement about the merger of their respective department store chains Kaufhof and Karstadt: the Canadian company says it has only signed a letter of intent.

Alibaba CEO and Belgian PM discuss investment in Liège

04/07/2018

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has discussed a possible investment in Liège, Belgium with the country's prime minister Charles Michel. Afterwards no decisive statements were made by either party.

Toys "R" Us closes American stores amidst reboot hopes

02/07/2018

Final curtains for Toys "R" Us in the United States: all the stores have closed and 30,000 employees are laid off. Against all odds, some however still hope for a second life for the troubled chain.