A little off base: London gets a taste of the American shopping experience
January 7, 2009
LONDON — First it was McDonald’s, KFC and a host of other American fast-food options. Then, coincidentally or not, there was a rise in the collective weight of the British population. Now, the gigantic mall, that staple of U.S. culture, is touching down properly in England with the opening of the Westfield mall in London.
Westfield London, the largest indoor shopping center in Europe after opening in October, is the kind of shopping experience Americans can believe in! Located in the west London borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, the mall boasts a retail floor area that is the equivalent to about 30 soccer pitches.
In addition to the standard British shops such as Debenham’s, Next and Zara, there’s a ton of American outlets you may be hard-pressed to find elsewhere, stores such as Nike, Adidas and Timberland that offer a range of apparel options not always available at the base exchange.
In all, according to the mall Web site, there are more than 265 shops from more than 15 countries featuring 16 brand names not previously seen in the U.K. Viva variety!
The mall is easily accessible as well, despite requiring a drive through London. If you do take the car, there’s tons of parking, as well as Tube stops and train routes that get you there easily.
In addition to being a really big shopping experience with many eatery options, the whole place has a futuristically smart and British vibe to it. Gone are hard benches for your shopping breaks. In their place are lounge-style couches and easy chairs.
The central atrium is the size of a soccer pitch in and of itself, and there’s a special enclave for posh boutique galleries.
All in all, Westfield London offers tons of shopping options, great people-watching and the best parts of a mall back home. Well, there’s no Orange Julius stand yet, but who knows what the future will bring?
Westfield London even has valet parking and a concierge service that will deliver your purchases for you if you can’t be bothered to carry them around.
And with the dollar continuing to make gains against the pound, what better time is there to treat yourself?
Location: Hammersmith, London, W12 7SL
Hours: Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Sunday, noon to 6 p.m.
For more information, log on to www.westfield.com/london