Marks & Spencer is expected to begin a realignment of its Westfield London store, reflecting the challenges retailers have had selling furniture and groceries in the centre.
Plans are in place to scale up the Food to Go offer, which has proved popular. But this will be achieved by cutting back some of the chiller cabinets in the store’s food hall in the basement, freeing up space for additional seating for its in-store cafes, as well as allowing Marks & Spencer to increase its range of ambient food.
The store’s top floor will also form part of the plans and will receive a mini-makeover with large furnishings being taken out of the store and childrenswear being expanded.
The issues at Marks & Spencer are similar to what has been happening with other retailers in the centre. The majority of Westfield London’s shoppers arrive at the mall by public transport, making the purchase of big-ticket furniture and groceries problematic.
Waitrose denied suggestions its trade had also been below expectations. “We are delighted with the performance of our Westfield store and sales there are currently 1.5 per cent above target,” a spokesman said.
Planet Retail global research director Bryan Roberts said: “Westfield’s not really suitable for even a modest food shop. You don’t want to go there and then have to carry your shopping back on the tube.”