29 ANNIVERSARY Twenty years on Westfield Derby
Westfield completed its first UK shopping centre with the opening of the million-sq ft Westfield Derby on October 9 2007, six months ahead of schedule.
significantly up on previous maximum footfall of 113,000 for the old centre, which opened in 1975. Derby City Council enthusiastically backed Westfield Derby, despite local concerns about its impact on the rest of the city centre, in the belief that it would significantly increase the city’s retail penetration across Derbyshire, continuing to build on a very loyal customer base. In 2007, the city attracted approximately 19m customer visits per year.
T In addition to anchors Marks & Spencer, Debenhams, and a re-
modelled Sainsbury’s, the development has 16 MSUs, a 12-outlet food court and parking for 3,700 cars. And a 70,000 sq ft, 12-screen Cinema de Lux, operated by National Amusements, opened in time for Easter 2008. It was officially opened by John Hutton, Secretary of State for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, in the presence of Westfield’s founder and chairman Frank Lowy and his two sons, joint managing directors Peter and Steven Lowy. The scheme boasted more than 150 stores plus Eat Central,
incorporating 800 seats which attracted restaurateurs that had never before had presence within a shopping mall, like Hamburger Union, Nincomsoup and Pieminister plus other retailers that had never operated outside London. It brought a range of international, national and local fashion and
homewares retailers to complement the demographics of the city. Approximately 100 retailers were new to Derby including All
Saints, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, Zara, H&M, G-Star, Aveda, Monsoon and Swarovski. And some retailers entered the East Midlands market for the first time, such as Bershka, Mexx, Hawes & Curtis and Polarn O Pyret.
Those retailers joined a line-up of tenants already trading at the existing centre, anchored by Boots, French Connection, Sainsbury’s
he £340m scheme – developed in partnership with Hermes – opened with 98 per cent of the floorspace let and almost all stores trading. Footfall reached 150,000 on day one,
and WH Smith. Westfield was keen to encourage retailers to deliver innovative
shopfits, and both Next and Marks & Spencer introduced their latest designs.
And on the commercialisation side, CBRE delivered the landlord
£0.75m of annual rental income, with the help of a full-time surveyor who was responsible for leasing kiosks alone.
“Our brand partners are now considering the outlet business as another channel.”
A range of stress-free customer services enhanced the shopping experience. These included a state-of-the-art concierge desk, a taxi lounge enabling customers to wait in comfort while concierge staff organise a taxi, and touchscreens throughout the malls providing mall navigation and up-to-date travel information. Other highlights included parent rooms and Playworld which
introduced Westfield’s brand new children’s soft play area to the UK, a Shopmobility service and Wi-Fi allowing shoppers to connect to a wireless network throughout the centre.
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in Croydon with the opening of The Gallery, a 600-seat food court.
St. Martins Property Group completed the final element of its Central shopping centre
The 654,840 sq ft extension to the Shires centre in Leicester (now Highcross) was 57 per cent pre-let two years ahead of opening.
Delamere Estates and the Lattice Group were set to rejuvenate the Victoria Plaza in Southend-on-Sea, which hadn’t had a refurbished in its 40 year history.
Westfield won the bidding battle over the Stratford City site in each London.
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