Ted Baker and House of Fraser bosses have expressed disappointment at the launch of The Luxury Village area at the new Westfield London development today after only a handful of retailers opened.
Ted Baker chief executive Ray Kelvin unveiled a Ted Baker store and a a new upmarket concept store called Pashion in the scheme's Luxury Village today. Although there are about 40 shops in The Luxury Village, Pashion and Ted Baker were only two out of a handful to open on launch day.
Kelvin said he was disappointed by the lack of openings. He said: "We said we were going to open and we did, and our store is fantastic. The store has had a great start but we feel like we are trading at a disadvantage. We need the adjacencies of the luxury brands because they show what value for money Ted Baker is."
Department store House of Fraser opened a 70,000sq ft anchor store in the Luxury Village featuring most of the retailer’s premium brands. House of Fraser chairman Don McCarthy said he was also disappointed that only a handful of retailers had opened. He added: "It is a great scheme and we are happy with our shop which is busy, but we really need all of the stores open. The overall scheme is great and hopefully it will spur on the West End to improve their retail shopping environment. We need to have Oxford Street pedestrianised. There is room for both Westfield London and the West End."
Luxury retailers including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Versace and Prada were among those who failed to open stores on the launch day. Signing Louis Vuitton was a coup for the scheme's developer Westfield and the Luxury Village has been much publicised as one of the centre's points of difference.
Louis Vuitton will not open until March next year, with Gucci and Versace scheduled to open before Christmas 2008.
It is understood that delays to opening occurred because some retailers wanted to increase the space they took in the village.
A Westfield spokesman said the delays were due to the intricate shopfits that retailers wanted to put in their stores. He added that 80% of retailers at the centre opened on time and that there had been no negative feedback from shoppers.