Double digit trading growth has been sustained at the Westfield London shopping centre over the last month partly because of a growing number of visitors from Middle Eastern countries.
Luxury brands proved particularly popular in the lead up to Ramadan, which this year began on August 1st, with leather gift brand Aspinal of London and premium childrenswear retailer Atelier De Courcelles seeing the biggest interest from foreign consumers.
In the last two weeks of July 2011 65 per cent of Atelier De Courcelles’ sales were made to customers from the oil rich region, with many bulk buying before returning to their home country for the start of the religious festival.
One customer of Westfield, Mohammad Al Gahmdi from Saudi Arabia, admitted that he spent £4,500 in one visit to the west London destination, buying products at Louis Vuitton, Prada and Topshop.
Another happy shopper, Noora Al Mehairi from United Arab Emirates, commented: “I first came to Westfield London last year and have been back four times since. It reminds me of the malls in Dubai and it’s nice to be able to shop late in the evening and avoid the crowds of Oxford Street.”
Luxury brands such as Burberry, Mulberry, Net-a-Porter, Labelux and Harrods have been seeing sales soar during these financially difficult period for the UK, with a large amount of this growth coming from international expansion or foreign shoppers.
Westfield is no stranger to high-end products with more than 40 luxury retailers operating in the centre, and Myf Ryan, General Marketing Manager for Westfield UK, said that many of these “quintessential English brands” appeal greatly to international tastes.
“Westfield London continues to trade very well with double digit growth figures in both turnover and footfall year on year, with the second week in July being the busiest week of the year so far,” Ryan added.
“Tourist visitor numbers were visibly up and in the lead up to Ramadan. Since opening, Westfield London has attracted a high number of Middle Eastern visitors but this summer has exceeded visitor number from previous years.
“It has firmly established itself on the London tourist circuit and the Middle Eastern market is incredibly important to Westfield London.”