WESTFIELD LONDON CELEBRATES FIRST BIRTHDAY
30 October 2009
The Westfield Group (ASX:WDC) and Commerz Real centre celebrates its first year of trading as latest figures show footfall has exceeded expectations by 15% to reach almost 23 million.
This week, it was announced that the world’s leading online luxury fashion retailer Net-A-Porter Group have signed for new office space at Westfield London to form their new UK Head Office.
Michael Gutman, Managing Director Westfield UK/Europe, said: “We opened in the teeth of a recession at 99% let. Since then we have delivered a very credible result with footfall 15% up on original expectations and independent analyst CACI ranking the centre with the highest sales potential in the UK of 1.3bn pounds.
Westfield London has also become a must-visit destination on the London tourism circuit with more than 30% of our sales coming from outside our core trade area as far afield as China, Russia the Middle East and Africa.”
“Overall we are very proud of what has been achieved in the first year, the 7,000 jobs we have created, the transformation and regeneration of the shepherds bush town centre and the establishment of a totally new retail destination for the UK.”
WESTFIELDLONDON- A CELEBRATION OF FIRSTS
FIRST BRANDED MALL IN LONDON
Building on the successful launch of Westfield Derby in 2007, the Westfield brand is now a firmly established name across the capital and throughout the UK. This will be further strengthened when Westfield Stratford City opens in 2011 as it is projected onto a world stage when the London 2012 Olympics get underway.
FIRST OF ITS KIND – INTEGRATED RETAIL, DINING AND LEISURE
The principle of Westfield London is its fully integrated offer which spans retail, leisure and food all under one roof. The Southern Terrace has created a new street in London and provides al fresco dining against the backdrop of the country’s longest Green Wall, combined with the Balcony and Loft areas within the centre which provide high quality dining and breaking with the tradition of a typical foodcourt. With GymBox and Vue, the UK’s first all-digital cinema, opening in early 2010, the leisure offer at the centre is set to further establish Westfield London as a lifestyle destination.
Vincent Mckevitt, Founder & Owner, Tossed, said: “We didn’t really know what to expect with the new Westfield shopping centre as it was the first of its kind in the UK. It was a bit of a gamble as it differed from our usual Tossed portfolio sites and we had to adapt our offering to cater for the different clientele to that of the high street. We are happy to say that the gamble paid off and the Westfield Tossed is a strong addition to the Tossed business. Trading has been strong from the outset and we will continue to innovate the Tossed offering and look forward to many more years working with Westfield”.
Maddie Martin, General Manager, Wagamama Westfield, said: “We’ve had a brilliant first year at Westfield! Our team have been rushed off their feet from day one – we’ve served up over 2.4 tons of ramen to noodle-slurping shoppers over the past year. Wagamama would like to wish Westfield a happy first birthday and we look forward to being a fixture on the Southern Terrace for years to come!”
Liz Williams, Managing Director, The Real Greek, said: “The Real Greek had never operated in a shopping centre environment and therefore we were not really sure of what to expect, and in one of the worst economic downturns in history, to say we were nervous is an understatement!! However I can honestly say the performance at Westfield has gone beyond our wildest dreams and set a blueprint for the brand for future openings across the country.
“The location on the Southern Terrace with all day sunshine (British weather permitting!!) has been perfect for our restaurant as customers can sit outside in an environment reminiscent of holidays in Greece, whilst experiencing excellent Mediterranean food. The menu is also ideal for a shopping environment like Westfield as our customers can be seen enjoying a glass of wine at the bar with a couple of mezes or having a long leisurely meal in our relaxed environment.”
FIRST TO BRING LUXURY TO A SHOPPING CENTRE
As the first shopping mall in the UK to introduce a luxury zone, The Village at Westfield London is establishing itself well one of the most iconic features of the centre.
Philippe Schaus, Senior Vice President International Louis Vuitton, said: “Since opening in May 2009, the Louis Vuitton store at Westfield London has been extremely successful with results that have surpassed all expectations. The success should be attributed to a combination of factors; the overwhelming popularity of Westfield London and ‘The Village’, Europe’s first high end luxury mall, the innovative design of the store and the shopping experience, and the location, which has enabled us to touch other new customers from the surrounding areas and outside London, as well as tourists.
Louis Vuitton and the Westfield Group have now been international teaming partners on numerous occasions, and the success of Westfield London further strengthens this relationship.”
Tim Donavon-Scott at Searcys, said: “The Champagne bar has been a great success since opening in October last year, with over 100,000 glasses of champagne sold. Our champagne list has continued to change and develop and has grown from a simple list of 5 champagnes to an interesting and diverse list of 20. As we head towards our first birthday the team at the Champagne Bar hold’s strong to our belief in delivering this wonderful product in a friendly and unpretentious atmosphere while maintaining the best possible customer service.
“In fact the bar has been such a great success that we are going to extend the bar itself, which will mean nearly doubling our capacity. It will also present the opportunity to develop our Champagne list and food menu further. So all in all a very exciting time for us at the Champagne Bar, we’re looking forward to our second Christmas at Westfield London.”
FIRST FOR RETAILERS
Westfield London is a top performing location many of the centre’s retailers. Westfield London is also home to a number of new brands, both to London and to the UK, and continues to be among the first choices for retailers looking to grow their UK market.
John King, CEO, House of Fraser, said: “Situated in ‘The Village’, our store in Westfield London is a gem in our portfolio. Since the opening last October, the store has been a real success story and has continued to perform above plan. The introduction of new premium brands, some of them exclusive to the store, has given us a point of difference for our customers. We will continue to invest in the store and our branded offering to ensure that next year is as successful as this one!”
Xenia Carr Griffiths, President of Europe, Middle East and Africa, Links of London said: “Over the past year we have seen a fantastic response to our brand in Westfield. The store exceeded our expectations from the word go and has continued to trade extremely well. The centre attracted a strong representation of International customers over the summer months which resulted in a further increase in sales.”
Tim Whitworth, Chief Executive of Republic, said: “Westfield is our first London store and has been a huge successenabling us to establish Republic as a destination store inthecapital. Shoppers have embraced our carefully selected ‘best of season’ styles from top brands on the high street, particularly our own house brands Miso, Crafted and Soul Cal. With nearly 100,000 customers since our doors opened last year the store has grown in footfall andconversion rates through 2009 and is well positioned to make the most of the growing customer baseasthe centrecelebrates it’s first birthday.”
Evan Mason, Vice President of Europe, Deckers Outdoor Corporation, said: “UGG Australia Westfield was the first UGG Australia flagship store to open in the UK and we could not have been more pleased with the overwhelming welcome we received. The store is a wonderful platform to showcase our entire collection, including outerwear and accessories, establishing UGG Australia as a year-round brand in the UK. Westfield London is a incredible shopping destination and we are delighted to be part of it.”
FIRST TO OFFER FIVE STAR CUSTOMER SERVICES
Customer services at Westfield London are based on a hospitality ethos which ensures all shoppers are treated as guests and offered the best possible advice from the dedicated, multi-lingual concierge staff. Westfield London is the first shopping centre to offer such a range of services for the customer’s convenience including Valet parking, hands-free and out of hours shopping, home delivery, personal stylist, personal shopper and personal chauffeurs as well as the range of family services including Kids Club, Mummy Mornings and Playworld.
Sven Gaede, CEO, Radley, said: “We were delighted to open a Radley store in Westfield, London last year as the premium shopping centre perfectly supports our goal to create shopping environments that excite and inspire our customers. Our Radley store at Westfield has had a successful year, driven by good footfall and a strong sales team. Our iconic Grosvenor bag has sold exceptionally well here and we’ve had a positive response to our in-store AW09 campaign, where we enjoyed a VIP shopping evening event with our loyal customers.”
FIRST TO BRING NEW DESIGN CONCEPTS TO THE UK
Westfield worked with each retailer throughout the design and fit-out process in order to push the boundaries of contemporary retail design and encourage retailers to introduce concept stores at Westfield London which would become flagships for their brands and the centre. The dramatic 4m and 8m high shopfronts stretch 3km and maximise the retailers’ opportunity to display themselves to the 23 million people who have passed through the doors to date.
Hayley Quinn, General Manger of Swarovski UK Ltd, said: “Swarovski identified Westfield London as an ideal environment in which to take the brands global retail concept one step further. As Swarovski strives to give customers a unique shopping experience that provokes a genuine emotional connection to its products it believed that Westfield London could offer the perfect arena in which to provide sparkle and glamour for shoppers. One year on, the business has been delighted with the Westfield store’s performance.”
Mark Price, Managing Director of Waitrose, said: “We’re proud to be a part of Westfield London, which is undeniably one of the country’s most important retail developments. Its luxurious architectural design and atmosphere make it a pleasurable shopping experience and the perfect location for Waitrose Westfield. Since opening in The Village, our quality food offer and high standards of customer service have attracted staggering numbers of shoppers.”
Belinda Earl, Jaeger’s Group Chief Executive, said: “The new shop fit design is highly innovative and inspired by Jaeger’s brand values of quality, glamour, elegance, luxury and style.”
FIRST TO OFFER UNRIVALLED CONNECTIVITY
Westfield London introduced unparalleled levels of connectivity with two new stations, a refurbished underground station, two bus interchanges and improved highway, pedestrian and cycle links. The centre also boasts London’s largest electric car park for with 30 charge points throughout the car park. The centre’s accessibility has contributed to the high level of footfall Westfield London has attracted during its first year.
The Westfield Group (ASX Code: WDC) is an internally managed, vertically integrated, shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing and marketing activities and employing approximately 4,000 staff worldwide. It has investment interests in 119 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom and New Zealand, encompassing in excess of 23,000 retail outlets. With a total value of assets under management in excess of A$62 billion, the Westfield Group is the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation.