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Bolt boosts Westfield Stratford footfall

Westfield Stratford City said it attracted 1.2 million visitors in the week to 14 August during the World Athletics Championships, marking the highest footfall at the shopping centre since the London 2012 Olympics.

Its visitor count grew 29% to 1.8 million on last year during the 10 day World Athletics Championships event, with the “Bolt factor” reviving footfall at the centre.

Myf Ryan, chief marketing officer at Westfield UK and Europe, said: “We’ve seen a spike in footfall over the duration of yet another sporting event achieving our highest footfall since the Olympics.”

Westfield Stratford City broke UK footfall records when it attracted 47 million people in its first year – nine million during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Last September it recorded 220 million visitors in its first five years, with retail sales of £5bn.

The news comes as Westfield Group reported its results for the six months to 30 June.

Fashion sales across its global flagship properties inched up by 0.5%. However, they fell 4.2% at its regional shopping centres during the same period.

The group posted 4.5% growth in funds from operations to $343m (£266m), while profit after tax jumped by 20% to $589m (£457m).

Net operating profit grew by 3.5% for the six months compared to the pior year, while 94% of its portfolio was leased.

Westfield co-chief executives Peter and Steven Lowy said in a joint statement: “In a challenging retail environment, the performance for the first half was good and we remain confident on executing our strategy to transform our assets into the pre-eminent global shopping centre portfolio.

“We are creating great experiences for retailers, consumers and brands. We have evolved the composition of our portfolio through the addition of food, leisure and entertainment, and a broader mix of uses including many new concepts, emerging technologies and online brands.”


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