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Westfield Stratford initiatives aim to drive trade

Westfield Stratford is to offer visitors a range of services for free throughout the Olympics as it seeks to capture footfall from the Games.

Tourists will be offered wi-fi access, phone-charging stations and concierge services, including home delivery or parcel minding, although these are paid-for. Existing services are being “simplified and amplified” to lure visitors.

TVs have been introduced into the communal areas so those without tickets can watch the big sporting events, and a free photo booth has also been installed. Shops will open as late as 11pm.

Speaking exclusively to Drapers, director of operations for UK and Europe Bill Giouroukos said crowd control and security were among the challenges presented by the Games, and that Westfield had been working closely with local authorities and Locog to create “a seamless experience”.

“We are very excited about the Games being right on our doorstep – I don’t think there has ever been a Games with a facility like ours at such proximity – but there are a lot of complex issues to work out,” he said. 

Giouroukos admitted it was “hard to predict” whether trade would see a boost due to the Games, acknowledging some regular shoppers might be turned off.

“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible, so even if they haven’t got tickets they can still experience the closeness of the Games and come and shop or spend time in the centre.”

  • For a full interview with Giouroukos, including Westfield’s post-Olympic plans, see the August 10 issue of Drapers.

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