£1.4b Olympic mall set to open in UK

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Europe’s largest urban shopping centre and gateway to the new Olympic Park is opening its doors to the public in a star-studded event.

Westfield Stratford City shopping centre in east London will be home to more than 300 shops, 70 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, three hotels, a bowling alley and the UK’s largest casino.

The official opening will be hosted by Pixie Geldof and television presenter Nick Grimshaw, and pop star Nicole Scherzinger will perform live.

Kelly Brook will help launch the New Look store and Olympians including synchronised swimmer Jenna Randall and rower Andy Triggs-Hodge will open Next’s new store and sign autographs.

Key retailers such as Marks & Spencer and John Lewis have taken outlets of more than 200,000 sq ft and, to date, 95% of the centre’s 1.9 million sq ft has been let.

Top Shop, Next, Apple, Prada, Hollister, Nike, Hugo Boss and Mulberry are among the retailers due to open stores at the centre, which cost £1.4 billion.

Westfield Stratford City will provide the only access to the London Olympic Stadium and large screens will be displayed along the centre’s walkways to show the main sporting events. Olympic medallist Colin Jackson will launch the first Lloyds TSB branch since 2004 and customers will be able to have their photo taken with the 2012 Olympic Torch.

The property developer behind the new centre, the Westfield Group, said there are four million people within 45 minutes of the new site who are not served by a closer shopping centre.

Bill Giouroukos, director of operations at Westfield, said: “The retail mix we are putting in place at Stratford will be the next chapter in retail development for London. We have secured a number of leading retailers who will be complemented by the extensive dining, leisure and entertainment offer we are creating to make Stratford City a lifestyle destination and a new metropolitan centre for east London.”

The shopping centre is set to become one of the best connected retail destinations in the UK, with £17 billion being invested in public transport in the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics.

Source: Press Association

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