Here’s this week’s top London shopping news stories:
Westfield Stratford Attracts a Record 47m Shoppers in its First Year
East London shopping centre Westfield Stratford City has marked its first birthday with record-breaking stats. The 1.9m square-foot shopping centre welcomed 47 million visitors in its opening year; one million within the first seven days of being open! Since then, the shopping centre has attracted around 800,000 shoppers each week. Westfield Stratford was also boosted during the Olympic and Paralympic Games, as the centre was the gateway to the Olympic Park, meaning visits hit 8.5 million during London 2012. So, the Stratford shopping centre has a lot to celebrate. Between 21 and 23 September, there’ll be a whole host of fun events including circus-themed parties, free live entertainment, offers and prize giveaways. Look out for free cupcakes, cake pops, balloons and popcorn, as well as mime artists, magicians and jugglers. Happy 1st Birthday, Westfield Stratford!
Two New Designer Flagship Stores for London’s West End: Burberry and McQ
As London Fashion Week comes to a close, London is left with the legacy of two incredible new flagship stores. Burberry World opened late last week, in a beautiful 1820s building on Regent Street: the largest Burberry store in the world. The store aims to recreate all the elements found on the brand’s online shopping outlet. There are 500 speakers and 100 screens throughout the store, showing original films created in-house at Burberry. Some of the clothes are specially tagged: when you take them into a changing room or near certain screens, you’ll be shown catwalk footage or details about how the product was made. I can’t wait to try this out!
Over on Dover Street, the long-awaited McQ London flagship opened on Friday. The three-storey boutique features Alexander McQueen’s secondary, more affordable label, as well as some of the most spectacular designs from the brand’s former fashion shows. “We want to create a story and a home for McQ and the flagship on Dover Street is an extension of this world,” said Sarah Burton, creative director for the Alexander McQueen brand (and designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding dress, you’ll remember). “The store will offer special catwalk pieces alongside ready-to-wear collections in a rich and immersive McQ environment.” According to Vogue, that means fancy shag pile carpets, suede-walled changing rooms and velvet chairs creating an intimate boudoir feel for the shop.
Meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Waterstone’s Piccadilly
Finally, one for the kids: on Saturday, you can meet The Very Hungry Caterpillar at Waterstone’s Piccadilly. Between 11.30am and 3.30pm, there’ll be fun activities and story time in the bookstore. The Caterpillar himself will be making appearances every hour, and you can even help Waterstone’s make their very own Hungry Caterpillar in store. Call 0207 851 2400 to find out more.