Westfield London expansion to open in three phases
Westfield London’s much-talked-about extension will open in three phases starting in the spring with phase two not due until this summer and the entire £600 million extension to be open by the autumn.
The first part of the 740,000 sq ft of new space will officially open on March 20, reportedly at the request of anchor tenant John Lewis, which is opening a 230,000 sq ft store. However, around half of the stores in the space will already be operational by that date, Estates Gazette reported.
Phase two, of which Primark is the star name, will debut by July when the value fashion retailer completes its 70,000 sq ft store and most of the extension’s leisure tenants are also expected to debut at this point. They will include the Ichiba food hall which, at 174,000 sq ft will be Europe’s largest Japanese food specialist.
The third phase will open on October 30, neatly timed to coincide with the mall’s 10th birthday.
Westfield said that 92% of the new space has already been let or is under offer and brands including Stradivarius, River Island, Mango and Boden are in advanced talks to take space there for the first time.
However, analysts said that Westfield may have to be flexible about rent demands in the current soft retail market in order to achieve full occupancy as the market has contracted since the extension was originally planned. Across the UK, a number of big-name brands and chains have said they’re seeking rent reductions from their landlords.
It’s been reported that troubled New Look has decided not to take a 20,000 sq ft space at the mall. However, a number of major names will be opening stores. As well as Stradivarius, Inditex is also believed to be opening Pull & Bear and Bershka there, while existing tenants are taking more space. These include Cath Kidston, H&M, UGG, and The White Company.
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