Westfield centre big Games winner

Updated: 
WestfieldWestfield shopping centre near the Olympic Park was visited by 5.5 million people during the Games, suggesting it is one of the biggest retail winners from the event.

Australian group Westfield said the Games gave it "unprecedented exposure to a global audience" and left Stratford City and its other London centre in Shepherds Bush on target to attract 60 million shoppers this year, who are forecast to spend £1.8 billion.


Stratford City, which opened in September 2011 and is Europe's biggest urban shopping mall, saw particularly good footfall because visitors had to walk through the centre to get to the Olympic Park.

Its strong figures are in stark contrast with anecdotal evidence that other retailers in central London failed to gain a boost from the event.

Central London was relatively empty during the Games as people stayed away amid warnings of transport congestion, leading Prime Minister David Cameron to appeal to people to return to the capital's heart.

The Olympics reportedly encouraged people to spend more on food and drink to watch the Games at home, although there are fears the spectacle kept them away from high streets.

Official retail figures for July, released on Wednesday, will provide an update on the performance of retailers who have been hit by the wet weather at the start of the summer. The City expects sales to be flat on the previous month.

Meanwhile Westfield, the world's second-largest listed retail trust, posted an improved result for the first half of 2012 thanks to a solid performance in Australia and the US.

It reported a 31% hike in net profits to 800 million Australian dollars (£536 million) for the six months to the end of June and said it is on-track to meet City expectations for the rest of the year.

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