Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (URW) has signed a host of new retailers across leisure, dining, entertainment and fashion showcasing the breadth of offerings across the flagship destinations, which together attracted over 4.2 million visitors in the first month since reopening. As Westfield’s recent How We Shop research report reveals, 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, Europe’s two largest shopping centres continue to attract not only shoppers but new brands looking for physical spaces.
Due to its launch late summer at Westfield London, Situ Live is an experiential retail destination that brings innovative products to life through immersive store design, live demonstrations, and expert storytelling. The 8,000ft² 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 its UK debut this summer with its only physical space at Westfield London. 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. 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.
Kurt Geiger’s Shoeaholics, originally an online offer with 12m online customers has branched out to physical retail including the recently launched 20,000ft² store flagship store and the biggest in the UK at Westfield London.
New food and beverage outlets to open at the West London destination include Filipino ice cream concept Mamasons Dirty Ice Cream and Bindas Eatery on Westfield Square, which won Westfield’s restaurant entrepreneur competition in 2018, evidence of Westfield’s influence on the booming local foodie scene in the Capital. At Westfield Stratford City, authentic Turkish restaurant and cocktail bar Lokma will open a 6,000ft² offering on The Street this summer including an outdoor Shisha terrace, whilst the food courts will be enhanced with Hawaiian poke bowl restaurant Honi Poke, North Fish Restaurant, and the Lewis Hamilton-backed, new plant-based fast-food burger joint, Neat Burger.
As the centres continue to act as local hubs for the community, more health and wellbeing services will be offered. Following the launch of the Plasma Donor Centre and the Covid Vaccination Centre at Stratford City and the Testing Centre at Westfield London in 2020, the successful collaboration with the NHS continues with a second Vaccination centre launching at Stratford and the recently opened Blood Donation space at Westfield London.
Kate Orwin, Leasing Director for Westfield UK & Italy, said: “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.”