'Is Westfield going to be a white elephant?' blog discussion



  • markalun
    markalun Forumite Posts: 17 Forumite
    I live round the corner from Westfield, every time we've popped in it's been absolutely heaving, too busy to get a table to eat and so on. Would be interested to know how many people are in there *buying* rather than just having a look about though.
  • hefferwump
    hefferwump Forumite Posts: 15 Forumite
    it was reasonably busy yesterday but they opened the eden centre high wycombe about 6 months ago same sort of thing all upmarket thats not doing very well either the local council keep bragging about the footfall but thats all it has its just a short cut from the bus station to the rest of the town all the shops are struggleing with the possable exception of tesco & 1 has already closed
  • Fat_Bee_Slim
    Fat_Bee_Slim Forumite Posts: 3 Newbie
    I went there with my partner 2 weeks ago and was shocked at how poor the design was. In no particular order, these were the problems we found:

    No fast food restaurants, so after walking around for a couple of hours and getting thirsty, your options are to buy something in WHSmith and drink it while walking around, or go to Costa Coffee...trouble is, every coffee shop was queuing out of the door!! Fast food might not be everyone's cup of tea, but it is necessary at times. Also, when taking kids shopping, although it might be better to buy them something 'proper', it's a lot more expensive to do so inside Westfield!!

    Secondly, after buying our drinks and walking around with them, we got tired and wanted to sit down. For such a huge centre, I was shocked at the lack of seating available - and in most areas where there is somewhere to sit, we found it taken up by single-person armchairs, not benches! So only 4 or 6 people could sit in each area. That meant that LOADS of people were sitting around on the floor - not something I wanted to do and it certainly didn't look very good.

    Thirdly, after drinking the aforementioned drink, we queued for the toilets; on the ground floor, the mens toilet had 3 urinals. Which meant there was a long queue. In West Quay (Southampton) the shopping centre is about a quarter of the size of Westfield and yet it has hundreds of toilets! The ladies was apparently worse, only 6 cubiles on the ground floor, so you can imagine the size of the queue there on a Saturday afternoon!

    After the difficulty getting a refreshing drink and a sit down, to say nothing of the pain of queuing for the loo, we left...and don't intend to return! Give me Bluewater or Lakeside anyday!
  • Fulham_Mark
    Fulham_Mark Forumite Posts: 242 Forumite

    I hate shopping, I've never been to any sort of big Mall ever but since WestField is near I popped in on last Friday night.

    It's stunning, almost beautiful. I really had to drag myself away. I was on my bike but couldn't stop myself buying clothes and lumbering them all home.

    The shops aren't allowed to spoil the place with their brands and colours, this makes the place relaxing and easy on the eye. The building is a coherant entity rather than a mish-mash of signs and colours.

    The roof is like the fancy one in the British Museum - curves glass panels. There are leather seating area and open plan cafes.

    Shepherds Bush is a bit dark and seedy yet the same people are inside Westfield as are outside - inside it's one big happy family, hoodies and gang-members and grannies. What a difference bright surroundings can make.

    Last night I went to Oxford Street to meet a friend and my stress-levels hit the roof. Worst is that you hate people for walking a bit slow or getting in your way. It's not like they are doing anything wrong.

    The trains from the new station are completely packed and it's now impossible to get on at Olympia.

    Southern are cutting back on their services from December....great! Once again it takes the rail companies to screw things up for us
  • MothballsWallet
    MothballsWallet Forumite Posts: 15,848
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper Photogenic
    There are Westfield centres in Oz and NZ (I'm assuming the White City one's owned by the same parent company) - and the one near me when I was in Auckland was always busy. But it was in the downtown area, near the ferry port and CBD (central business district).

    But, perhaps the centre's fortunes depend a lot on attracting people to deliberately go there, rather than relying on casual (passer by) custom? I guess we'll know soon enough if HM Govt shifts its elephantine bottom to help ease the current situation for all and not just the rich party donors... *sarcastic smile*
  • Bargainetta
    Bargainetta Forumite Posts: 77 Forumite
    BillScarab wrote: »
    Merry Hill is different though, it's been there for 20 years and is an established centre. Trying to open a massive new centre at the moment is a different proposition.

    Re your quote on Canada. I have been REALLY envious of some of the clothes some friends have brought back from there. They have inherited French style but also American practicality - everything washes like a dream and wasn't overpriced! So if you yourself are Canadian, take my advice and go easy on yourself.:o
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