‘World Class’ is a phrase that’s dominated the headlines regarding the UK’s celebration of sport and culture, and we aim to put ‘world class experience’ at the heart of every Westfield shopping centre.
‘World Class’ is a phrase that’s dominated the headlines regarding the UK’s celebration of sport and culture. It’s been a particular triumph for the capital - the result of hard work from many businesses making the visitor experience a real success.
We aim to put ‘world class experience’ at the heart of every Westfield shopping centre we run - from a customer, retailer, developer and property management perspective - this is really important to us.
Around 5.5 million people visited Westfield Stratford City during the Olympics, and on reflection it’s clear to see that the common goal of ‘commitment to deliver success’ was the real thread that tied all our retailers altogether – with extraordinary results from hundreds of stores and restaurants.
Particular retailers who won gold included John Lewis, thanks to products like the TeamGB LEGO minifigures - selling enough minifigures to give one to every single athlete competing in the Games.
Other Games-related ‘add-on experiences’ here included the Google+ photo booth that provided a Games memento to 14,000 visitors, whilst our pop up mobile phone stations charged 93,000 handsets and a staggering 122,836 individual Wi-Fi connections were made inside the centre. We were looking to add value to every stage of the customer journey.
For the duration of London 2012, we have enhanced and extended our baggage storage, hands-free shopping and national and international home delivery services - all of which have been popular over the last few weeks. If you’re keen to plan your shopping trip before arrival or indeed wish to have a map of one of our centres in your pocket, then there’s the Westfield app available to download from our UK website.
It is important to capitalise on the closing of the London Games, but also to look ahead to what is set to be an exceptional Paralympic Games with its continued focus on ‘success’ and ‘achievement’. In preparation for the Paralympics, we have continued to work closely with all our Partners to ensure the experience for those visiting Westfield in Stratford or Shepherds Bush remains equally memorable.
For disabled visitors needing assistance at Westfield Stratford City, our concierge teams are all specially trained by disability specialists Wideaware http://www.wideaware.co.uk/ to provide the additional support and understanding for those requiring it. Additionally, for ease of mobility we have a fleet of electric and normal wheelchairs to help people get around along with short training sessions available if you haven’t used an electric wheel chair before.
So, post Paralympics, what’s next? Our global ‘city specific’ strategy is really gathering pace. Here in the UK we are committed to the regeneration of Croydon whilst globally targets include Europe and Brazil…especially exciting with Rio hosting the Olympic Games in 2016!
- Bill Giouroukos is Westfield’s director of operations for the UK