Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City have agreed deals to upsize stores for a number of global brands this year, including Nike, Apple, Gucci, Tommy Hilfiger, Footlocker and Pull&Bear. At almost 17,000 sq ft. Nike has almost tripled the size of its store in Westfield London and Gucci has doubled its footprint for its permanent store in The Village.
Kate Orwin, Leasing Director at Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield UK, said: “Brands are choosing to upsize in the best locations, as we have seen with the Nike Rise store and the expansion of Gucci at The Village Westfield London, representing a broader trend among retailers. As these retailers invest in integrated digital and physical experiences, their focus has shifted from pure sales generation to creating a sense of community and connection for consumers which ultimately drives brand loyalty.”
The recently opened Nike Rise Concept store at Westfield London, the first for Europe, demonstrates this trend, creating an immersive environment that offers customers off-to-online experiences with a range of products and events.
While Westfield centres continue to attract some of the world’s largest brands and UK firsts, they are also seeing an increasing number of up-and-coming brands signing new leases. Already in 2022, more than 30 new tenants have been signed to the centres as brands look to use physical spaces to build closer connections with their audiences.
These new brands include leisure and food and beverage concepts, Java Whiskers, a cat café, Bike Soup, a hybrid café and cycle hire and repair centre, Gravity, the dynamic leisure and entertainment concept and Sticks’n’Sushi and Flat Iron restaurants. Health is another sector seeing significant growth with skincare and cosmetic clinic, Laser Clinics, and teeth alignment brand, SmileDirectClub, both signing leases at Westfield’s London centres.
Orwin continues: “Seeing so many new and existing retailers, restaurants and entertainment concepts investing with us is a testament to the continued strength of the Westfield brand and the increased value being placed on visiting physical destinations. We are proud to be the destination of choice for the best flagships and new concepts which ultimately create the best experiences for our customers.”
This trend to take larger spaces is not limited to the UK, with Zara opening its largest store in Europe at Westfield Les 4 Temps in Paris last year and H&M will also extend their footprint at the centre, while Bershka expands in Villeneuve 2.