// Unibail-Rodamco Westfield announces new signings at Westfield centres in UK
// UK consumers are “craving” physical experiences in the retail space, according to Westfield
Westfield owner Unibail-Rodamco Westfield (URW) has signed a host of new retailers to its centres in an effort to attract shoppers.
Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City have together attracted over 4.2 million visitors in the first month since reopening.
Westfield’s recent How We Shop research report revealed that UK consumers are “craving” physical experiences in the retail space and with extra cash to spend as a result of lockdown saving.
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Situ Live is set to launch at Westfield London and is an experiential retail destination which “brings innovative products to life through immersive store design, live demonstrations, and expert storytelling”.
The 8000sq ft venue will feature six curated theatres, including ‘Fitness & Wellbeing’, ‘Connected Home’, ‘Nutrition Kitchen’, ‘Entertainment’, ‘Home & Mobile Working’ and ‘On The Move’.
Kurt Geiger’s Shoeaholics, originally an online offer with 12 million online customers has branched out to physical retail including the recently launched 20,000sq ft store flagship store and the biggest in the UK at Westfield London.
As the centres continue to act as local hubs for the community, more health and wellbeing services will be offered.
Following the launch of the Plasma Donor Centre and the Covid Vaccination Centre at Stratford City and the Testing Centre at Westfield London in 2020, the successful collaboration with the NHS continues with a second Vaccination centre launching at Stratford, and the recently opened Blood Donation space at Westfield London.
“With over four million visitors through our doors since reopening last month, Westfield London and Westfield Stratford City continue to attract the best concepts and stores that our customers want,” Westfield UK & Italy leasing director Kate Orwin said.
“It’s exciting to see brands adapting in a new era through experiential retail, community, health initiatives and more and we look forward to welcoming over a dozen new brands in the coming months.
“However, after a challenging year for physical retail, we know it will be a tough journey ahead and what we need now, more than ever, is for government to help get the industry back on its feet again by urgently reforming business rates.
“UK retailers pay the highest property-related taxes in Europe, approx. 45 per cent of rent versus between 0.5 per cent – three per cent across the rest of Europe.
“The current business rates holiday is welcomed but needs to be extended in the short term, and in the medium term, we need to see meaningful reform that levels the playing field and allows British physical retail to thrive once again.”