Westfield footfall rises, £600m spend boosts London mall's appeal
Footfall to UK stores may be sluggish at present but not for everybody. Westfield (or, as it should now be known, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield) said late last week that its two London malls have seen a 6.7% increase in visitors during June.
That means more than 7.8 million people visited the London or Stratford properties and the company is predicting record growth in tourist visits for the summer as a whole on the back of its Westfield London £600 million expansion.
The company unveils Europe’s largest Japanese food hall, Ichiba, this week at the London mall and this should add to the overall appeal of the property, which has already been boosted by the introduction of a dedicated new outdoor events space, Westfield Square.
The upgrade works that have boosted the London Mall clearly haven't had a knock-on effect on Stratford. Visitor Numbers to Westfield London were up 12% in June but the rise at Stratford was 'only' 3.9%. However, in current market conditions that is still a big win for the company. And the mall still welcomes a larger number of shoppers than its slightly-higher-end sibling across town. The total 7.8 million visitors to both centres was made up of 2.9 million going to Westfield London and the rest to Stratford.
Stratford may have higher footfall overall, but the heavy spend on Westfield London has made it the largest shopping centre in Europe, and as mentioned, its owners are expecting a record number of international visitors this summer following the expansion.
Westfield has welcomed half a billion visitors across its London centres over the past 10 years, generating more than £15 billion in sales and its momentum clearly remains strong.
The company said that since opening in the capital 10 years ago, sales from Chinese visitors have risen 165% and that trend is continuing into this year with a 2.4% uplift in Q1. Visitors from the Middle East and North Africa also continue to rise, with Westfield seeing an average spend per customer of £500+ in Q1. Visitors from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the biggest spenders from the Middle East at Westfield London.
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