New figures published today reveal over 7.8m shoppers visited Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City in June, up 6.7% year-on-year. The results are particularly strong at Westfield London, with over 2.9m shoppers marking a 12% increase ahead of what could prove a record tourism season.
Westfield London, now the largest shopping centre in Europe, is expecting a record number of international visitors this summer following its £600m expansion. The forecast comes as Westfield announces it has welcomed half a billion visitors across its London centres over the past 10 years, generating more than £15bn in sales.
Following growth in tourism footfall last summer, Westfield is looking to open London up to the world with a series of cultural and entertainment launches and events. At Westfield London, they include unveiling Europe’s largest Japanese food hall, Ichiba, on 14 July, and showcasing the centre’s new dedicated outdoor space Westfield Square, which will host unique, themed experiences throughout July (summer of sport), August (colour month) and September (design month).
Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and group director of brand and strategic marketing for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield commented: “The 6.7% year-on-year uplift in June footfall figures demonstrates the continued strength of our retail, leisure, dining and entertainment offer at both our London centres. This summer, we’re looking forward to welcoming more international visitors to the capital than ever before, with our latest launches at Westfield London’s expansion, including Ichiba, and exciting events at Westfield Square providing even more unique experiences.”
Westfield has a long and established history of welcoming the world to London since opening in the capital 10 years ago. Sales from Chinese visitors have risen 165% with that trend continuing into this year with a 2.4% uplift in Q1 2018. Visitors from the Middle East and North Africa also continue to rise, with Westfield seeing an average spend per customer of £500+ in Q1 2018. Visitors from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the biggest spenders from the Middle East at Westfield London.
Westfield London has also diversified its food and beverage offer to cater towards overseas visitors and cement its position as a leading drinks and dining destination. Ichiba will be a world-first and is set to bring the best artisan food, drink, homewares and gifts from Japan together in one place in the capital. It joins newly-launched restaurant and bar concept Maple in the expansion, alongside leisure venues All Star Lanes and Puttshack – the world’s first super tech indoor mini-golf experience.
The new food and beverage openings bring the total number of Westfield London dining options to over 80, representing a 57% growth since the centre opened in 2008. Sales in food and beverage have increased 88% over the past decade at the destination and now account for £105m each year, or 10% of total revenue.
The expansion has also enabled Westfield London to introduce high-profile retailers such as John Lewis and Primark, expand new and growing categories such as homewares and beauty – with the likes of West Elm, BoConcept, Space NK and Miller Harris – and give existing retailers such as H&M and adidas an opportunity to expand.
The expansion launched on 20 March, six months ahead of schedule, signalling the start of a phased opening. Ichiba is one of a number of major announcements and openings taking place throughout the year ahead of the centre’s 10th anniversary on 30 October 2018, bringing the total number of outlets to 450 and consolidating Westfield London’s position as a world-leading retail and entertainment destination.