Tuesday September 13th marks opening day for Europe’s largest shopping mall opens in Stratford, East London. The centre “Where East Meets Westfield” is bang on the doorstep of that other new development in the news, Olympic Park.
Shoppers will be have over 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a massive 14-screen cinema, three hotels, a bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino, all under one modern roof. It took a concerted effort by 7,000 shop fitters over the last few months to get the site ready in time.
Westfield Stratford been described as the UK’s last “mega mall”, and will provide housing and other facilities longer term, well after athletes have packed up their medals and headed home. The site is a former industrial wasteland in Stratford which is on London Underground’s Central Line.
The centre was built using the equivalent of five and a half Eiffel Towers’ worth of steel, and Olympic visitors who arrive by bus or train will automatically walk through the mall to get to the Olympic site, tempting them to explore Britain’s most famous retailers including Marks & Spencer, New Look, Next, John Lewis and many, many more during their stay in London. It’s also a huge boost for local jobs and shoppers, as until now residents around East London have had to travel to the capital’s city centre to be able to shop at all the famous high street name stores in London’s west end, in Oxford Street, Regent Street and further west along Kensington High street.
Promotions to launch Westfield this week include a competition to win £1000 worth of shopping and customers can sign up via the website to get two weeks of free parking until October 31.
Bob Geldof’s daughter Pixie and TV presenter Nick Grimshaw will host the opening ceremony, and pop star Nicole Scherzinger, Lewis Hamilton’s girlfriend, is due to perform live today.
Kelly Brook will be at the opening of the New Look store and Olympians at the opening include synchronised swimmer Jenna Randal and rower Andy Triggs-Hodge who will launch the new Next store. Olympic swimmer Colin Jackson will launch the first Lloyds TSB brance since 2004 and shoppers will be able to pose for photos with him.
Opening promotions include the VIP performance by Nichole Scherzinger, champagne and chocolates at the Hotel Chocolat store, National Organic Week with cooking demonstrations in the centre’s Great Eastern Market and various offers from Dermalogica and Kiehls beauty brands, Starbucks, free cookbooks at the Giraffe store.
All restaurants will be open daily from 10am till midnight except for Sundays (11am to 11pm) and Westfield Stratford City will open from 10am to 10pm weekdays, 9am to 9pm Saturdays and 11am to 5pm every Sunday.
It’s likely that the state of the art mall will be used for future celebrity red carpet events – and the developers are hoping it will be a busy shopping centre even after the Olympics are over.
Shops at the centre will range from Primark to Prada, and the new Westfield is set to become one of the best connected retail destinations in Britain. £17 billion is being invested in public transport in the area in the run up to the London Olympics.
The Westfield Group say there are four million people who live within 45 minutes of the new site who would usually have to travel to west London, and the centre is so much more than just a retail mall, with its huge cinema complex and eclectic choice of cafes and restaurants.
Bill Giouroukos, director of operations at Westfield, said: "The retail mix we are putting in place at Stratford will be the next chapter in retail development for London. We have secured a number of leading retailers who will be complemented by the extensive dining, leisure and entertainment offer we are creating to make Stratford City a lifestyle destination and a new metropolitan centre for east London."
The new Westfield connects to London Overground and the DLR and is just 8 minutes to London’s main Liverpool Street Station and 13 minutes to Canary Wharf. It is on the Central Line via. underground, and is reachable via the Jubilee line via Canary Wharf, London Bridge and Waterloo, making it very easy to get to if arriving from out of town.
For full store and restaurant listings, opening hours, promotions and how to reach Westfield Stratford City, visit http://uk.westfield.com/stratfordcity. Westfield’s other flagship London store is Westfield Village in west London, at Shepherds Bush near Notting Hill Gate and Holland Park. The stunning shopping centre is home to designer names such as Gucci, Prada, Tiffany, Louis Vuitton, Dior, Burberry, Jo Malone and more, as well as familiar high street names Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, and hundreds more. http://uk.westfield.com/thevillagelondon/