Westfield Working Hard To Replace Lost Tenants

Seven new stores and eateries have signed leases so far this year

Kurt Geiger’s Shoeaholics has opened its biggest store in the UK
Kurt Geiger’s Shoeaholics has opened its biggest store in the UK. Picture: Shoeaholics

The owners of the Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherd’s Bush are managing to relet many of the units that have emptied during lockdown.

The local centre combined with the one in east London has received over 4.2million visitors in the first month since reopening. There are plenty of new shops and restaurants to see and other stores set to open this summer.

Kurt Geiger’s Shoeaholics, originally an online offer with 12m online customers has branched out to physical retail with its recently launched 20,000 sqft store flagship store and the biggest in the UK.

Margaret Dabbs London has opened a clinic within John Lewis providing 7 treatment rooms, a nail spa and a retail area.
Opening in February, the new clinic will marry up Margaret Dabbs London's expertise with the John Lewis retail offering to present a unique range of foot, hand and beauty treatments.

Athleisure brand Gym+Coffee has made its debut along with Spa Ceylon. Fashion brands such as Polo Ralph Lauren Kids, Milano Couture and sustainable menswear brand SIRPLUS all opened in the final quarter of 2020. A five year deal with brand partner international vape brand Vuse also launched.

New food and beverage outlets yet to open include Filipino ice cream concept Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream and Bindas Eatery on Westfield Square, which won Westfield’s restaurant entrepreneur competition in 2018.

Due to launch late summer at Westfield London, Situ Live is an experiential retail destination which brings innovative products to life through immersive store design, live demonstrations, and storytelling. The 8,000 sqft venue will feature six curated theatres, including ‘Fitness & Wellbeing’, ‘Connected Home’, ‘Nutrition Kitchen’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Home & Mobile Working’ and ‘On The Move’.

Hyundai’s premium brand Genesis makes it UK debut this summer with its only physical space in the centre. The predominantly online direct sales model will not offer traditional Genesis dealerships but instead, will launch with three physical “Genesis Studios” in Europe, including the Studio at Westfield London which will be the only location to browse and purchase the full Genesis range in the UK.

Hyundai's premium brand Genesis has its only UK showroom at Westfield

As the automobile sector continues to grow at Westfield centres, Brand Partnerships have also signed a three year space and media deal with UFO sustainable car rental brand. This includes six electric car parking bays, allocation of media (static and digital), co-marketing and retailer engagement, and experiential activations. Entirely using a smartphone app, customers can experience an incredible electric ride with the Tesla Model S or any other premium car from their 100% electric fleet.

Westfield’s recent How We Shop research report concludes that UK consumers are craving physical experiences in the retail space and with extra cash to spend as a result of lockdown saving, according to ONS, the owners are hopeful both new brands and shoppers will be attracted to the centre.

Kate Orwin, Leasing Director for Westfield UK & Italy, says, “With over 4m visitors through our doors since reopening last month, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City continue to attract the best concepts and stores that our customers want. It’s exciting to see brands adapting in a new era through experiential retail, community, health initiatives and more and we look forward to welcoming over a dozen new brands in the coming months.

“However, after a challenging year for physical retail, we know it will be a tough journey ahead and what we need now, more than ever, is for Government to help get the industry back on its feet again by urgently reforming business rates. UK retailers pay the highest property-related taxes in Europe, approx. 45% of rent versus between 0.5% - 3% across the rest of Europe. The current business rates holiday is welcomed but needs to be extended in the short term, and in the medium term, we need to see meaningful reform that levels the playing field and allows British physical retail to thrive once again.”

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May 24, 2021