Shoppers Come Back To Westfield Quickly After Lockdown

Centre busy as crowds return to start buying for Christmas

A queue of shoppers outside the Apple shop at Westfield
A queue of shoppers outside the Apple shop at Westfield

Shoppers arrived at Westfield White City before sunrise this morning as it opened its doors on the first day after lockdown.

After several days of dismal news about Debenhams and Arcadia Group, local returned to Westfield on 2 December, intent on kicking off their Christmas shopping.

Close friends Sue and Hayley, who preferred not to give their surnames, were up at 5.30am to begin their Westfield expedition.

“We’re from Berkshire, we got up at 5.30am to come here. We got the kids to school and wanted to get here as early as possible,” said Sue.

Hayley added: “We’re from Hammersmith originally, but we love coming here, this our place.

“It’s been great so far, it’s very organised and safe and the staff were helpful. They really have their s*** together.”

Sue And Hayley at Westfield Shopping Centre
Sue And Hayley at Westfield Shopping Centre

Despite the news of big sales at Topshop, their first stops were at Marks & Spencer, Pret and Abercrombie and Fitch.

The centre opened with little fanfare but was quite busy by 11am. Besides those sitting down to a coffee, there was scarcely an un-masked face in sight.

Juliet Manarin, 54, who nannies for a family in South Kensington, was similarly glad to be back with a buggy in tow.

“We arrived early this morning, it was good to be here earlier when there was fewer people,” Ms Manarin said.

“I have missed being able to come and do a proper shop. I usually take the children to the playground but that is unfortunately still closed.”

She continued: “I do worry about big shopping centres, with online shopping getting bigger and people feeling scared to go out, but I’m glad to get my Christmas shopping started.”

Juliet Manarin At Westfield Shopping Centre
Juliet Manarin At Westfield Shopping Centre

A 23-year-old man from Acton was looking for a place to sit down and do some work that wasn’t his flat.

“I’m not here to do any shopping, my plan is to get a coffee and just do some work that’s not in my little office at home,” he said.

The marketing executive went on: “It looks well managed here, hopefully it won’t have to close again in January.”

Owen Sheppard - Local Democracy Reporter

December 7, 2020