Westfield London set to welcome record number of international visitors this summer

Westfield London expects to welcome more international visitors than ever before through its doors this summer, as it unveils the latest exciting stage of its £600m expansion. Following positive growth in tourism figures in summer 2017, Westfield looks to open London up to the world with a series of cultural and entertainment summer launches including showcasing its innovative outdoor events space, Westfield Square, as well as unveiling Europe’s largest Japanese food hall, Ichiba, on 10 July. This news comes as Westfield announces that it has welcomed half a billion visitors across its London centres over the past 10 years, generating over £15bn in sales.

Westfield has a long and established history of welcoming the world to London since opening in the capital ten years ago. Sales from Chinese visitors have risen 13,545% since opening and that trend continues into this year with 2.4% increase in Q1 2018. Middle Eastern and Northern Africa visitors also continue to rise, with Westfield seeing an average spend per customer of £500+ in the first quarter of 2018. Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and UAE confirmed as the top three spending Middle Eastern countries at Westfield London. 

To further appeal to the international audience, Westfield London has diversified its food and beverage offering to cater towards tourists and cement its position as a leading food and beverage destination in the capital. Ichiba, opening 10 July, will be Europe’s largest Japanese foodhall and is a world-first, bringing the best artisanal food, drink, homewares and gifts from Japan together in one place in London. Westfield London has attracted over 40 first-to-UK retailers since opening in 2008 and continues to do so with the latest new retailers making their debut in the expansion.

Joining Ichiba are newly-opened All Star Lanes, upcoming Puttshack (the world’s first super tech indoor mini-golf experience) and soon-to-open new restaurant and bar concept, Maple. The new food and beverage openings will bring the total number of Westfield London dining options to over 80 – a flourishing 57% growth since opening in 2008. Sales in food and beverage at Westfield London have grown 88% since opening, accounting for 10% of total revenue and a total of £105m each year.

Westfield Square, opening June, is a new events space which will be hosting unique dining and entertainment experiences throughout the summer and 2018. The square is one of the focal points of the expansion and is adjacent to Wood Lane and White City tube stations. There are themes for each month – June is music month, July is summer of sport, August is colour month and September is design month.

Westfield Square is adjacent to the red brick Dimco Building which was built in 1899 and once was the engine and boiler houses of the Wood Lane generating station which supplied energy for the Central London Railways and more recently acted as a layover for buses. Westfield now proposes to convert this building into a vibrant venue to host events and entertainment, such as Burberry’s recent London Fashion Week event. 

Primark will also debut a 70,000 sq. ft new store as it opens its latest contemporary retail concept on 15th June. Primark was the second most requested retailer by Westfield London customers after John Lewis, which already opened its doors to Westfield London shoppers on 20th March this year. The additional new stores and restaurants will bring the total number to 450 outlets over the course of the year, with 1,000 additional parking spaces being created.

Earlier this year, Westfield London marked the opening of its much-anticipated expansion, making it the largest shopping centre in Europe and consolidating Westfield London’s position as a world-leading retail and entertainment destination. The London expansion is part of a phased opening with several major announcements and openings taking place throughout the year, ahead of Westfield London’s 10th anniversary on 30th October 2018.

Myf Ryan, CMO Europe and Group Director of Brand and Strategic Marketing for Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield commented: “The £600m expansion of Westfield London has allowed us to diversify our offering so that we appeal to more international visitors than ever before. With summer a key moment for tourism we are excited to offer world firsts such as Ichiba and our very own major outdoor entertainment space in Westfield Square, ensuring we continue to be a destination for international visitors. This latest investment in Westfield London is testimony to its strength over the past 10 years, with the centre continuing to experience high retail demand for space from luxury, high street and innovative brands looking to house the very latest in retail, dining, leisure and entertainment.”

Westfield London has a unique offering anchored by four major department stores including John Lewis, M&S, Debenhams and House of Fraser, along with major retailers including Waitrose, Next and Primark, the UK’s only luxury quarter inside a shopping centre, The Village as well as the UK’s number one cinema Vue.