Westfield London opens 46 acres of shops



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The White City in Shepherd's Bush will break retailing records

Westfield London opens 46 acres of shops

Recession? What recession! Shopping mall developer Westfield has no doubts that its £1.6 billion complex - covering nine postcodes and an area larger than Buckingham Palace and the palace gardens - will lure credit-crunched shoppers after opening today.

Mayor Boris Johnson cut the ribbon at the launch ceremony for the glass-topped White City complex, which will be Europe's biggest city shopping centre. Top-tier brands including Louis Vuitton, Gucci and Armani have signed up for retail space, with high-street favourites such as Topshop, Zara and Boots also on the list.

Michael Gutman, Westfield UK & Europe managing director, reports that 99 percent of retail space has been let so far, for a company project in development nearly 20 years. The massive centre in Shepherd's Bush will feature 265 shops, 50 restaurants, 14 cinemas and five major department stores.

Anchor stores will include Marks & Spencer, Waitrose and House of Fraser, Gutman told Reuters. He said he expects more than 20 million shoppers to visit the Westfield complex in its first year.

Despite certain commentators suggesting that this is a tricky time to launch such a huge retailing project, Gutman backs his project and believes it should beat the flailing economy. "We have opened centres in times of recession and in times of boom," he said to Reuters. "Obviously we didn't plan the building for a particular cycle. We planned it for the long-term on the basis of some solid fundamentals."

- Jill Hilbrenner

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Submitted by Anonymous on Mon, 2008-12-01 12:51.

Visited Westfield Saturday 29th Dec.

Do not visit on a Saturday! Had to que to get into pretty much everwhere. Took atleast 15minutes to get into the UGG AUSTRALIA shop, once inside took 30 minutes to get an assistants attention to get my shoe size, which was pretty frustrating as all the seats in the shop were taken by exhausted shoppers! Everything was packed, very hard to get into the food halls and get a seat/table (ended up buying a Boots Meal Deal and sharing a chair!)

Overall experience was ok, i would go back but perhaps on a weekday as most shops stay open till 10pm. Fantastic variety of shops and all undercover! Beats Oxford street in the rain anyday!

Submitted by Anonymous on Sun, 2008-11-02 09:22.

Living near Westfield London I can already see the boost to the local economy.

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