Is Westfield going to be a white elephant?

A mammoth new shopping centre has opened near MSE Towers in Shepherds Bush. You’ll have probably seen the furore about Westfield’s opening on the news, it’s apparently the third biggest in Europe and had the bad luck of opening just after all the nasty financial news hit.

Inside it’s enormous, with high ceilings, huge shops and an upmarket range. As an example, rather than McDonalds and KFC the food court has Croque Garcon, Ooze Risotteria and Tiffinbites. The opening week was huge; 100,000 people went on the first Saturday, filling out even its massive space.

This town, is coming like a ghost town.

Yet yesterday the MSF had some time and popped in on Monday afternoon. She went to one of the large department stores (I’ll not say which to protect the person mentioned in a minute’s job). There wasn’t another soul in the whole store. As she walked through the parfumerie, she turned down a trial of the first type, then had another store attendant literally run to chase her, through the barren concessions, to offer a squirt of the perfume.

Then, when asking directions to a department she was told “I’ll take you there” and someone escorted her up the escalators. As she went up, the shop assistant said to her “it’s s**t here, always empty, no customers, nothing to do and really boring. It’s not like the bullring or the Trafford centre, they’re always busy, this is the worst place I’ve ever worked.”

Comment and Discuss.