THE MASSIVE shopping centre erected in East London to match its West London predecessor has helped Westfield, the Australian developer that owns both, to boost net profit by 18.3 per cent to $Aus1.71 billion (about £1.15 billion).
The Westfield mall in Stratford, built to be a gateway to the 2012 Olympic Games, became controversial as soon as it was mooted. Local businesses feared that funnelling visitors into hundreds of chain shops in a big undercover venue would put them out of business
The local street market in The Broadway felt itself particularly vulnerable, although there were also claims of a flow-on effect. Newham council now says: “There are no vacancies in this market and a waiting list is in operation.”
Peter Lowy, Westfield’s co-chief executive, said that more than 70 million people had visited Westfield London and Westfield Stratford, spending more than £1.9 billion.
Not all visitors fell into the trance-like, wallet-opening state so desired in such malls. Hackney writer and fierce Olympics critic Iain Sinclair, described Westfield shopping centre as “Horrendous — drains the lifeblood out of you in seconds”.
* Stratford outdoor market, The Broadway E15 1NG, Tuesday to Saturday, 9am to 6pm
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