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Westfield stores hail success of first week

The first week of trading at the new Westfield London scheme in London’s White City has been labelled a success by retailers, after half a million shoppers went through its doors in the first four days.

About 90% of the retailers opened on the October 30 launch day, including anchor stores House of Fraser, Debenhams, Next and Marks & Spencer. More than 160,000 shoppers visited the centre on the first day, which was backed by a huge marketing campaign by London agency Adam & Eve.

A Debenhams spokeswoman said: “The store is performing in line with our expectations. Sales have been building day by day and the weekend was very good.”

Peter Lucas, chairman of BMB Group and Speciality Retail Group, which opened a Suits You store, said: “We beat our targets in Suits You by more than 10%.”

One director of a footwear chain said trade had been good overall. “We’ve done the numbers I expected,” he said.

Overall trading on the high street over the past couple of weeks also picked up, according to high street directors.

One menswear executive said: “Trading in the past couple of weeks has been better thanks to pay day and half term, but the few weeks before had been very poor, so it’s still difficult.”

Another high street chief executive warned: “We have had half term and we have had cold weather and it’s not had any massive uplift on trading. M&S are 6% down and it’s clear M&S had to trade a bit of margin to keep to that.

“If things carry on like this everybody will be on Sale to some extent all the way up to Christmas.”

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