Westfield Stratford at my pace
A week after Westfield Stratford’s opening A and I decided to go pay a visit. At our pace. We left at 11.40am. It took 17 mins from our home to the road sign for Euro Star’s Stratford International and another 7 mins to the grade 2 listed Theatre Royal Stratford all at a stroll! Nice one a there would be less need for a car as the weekend traffic has become horrendous since!
Passing Wheelers Pub that always looked totally out-of-place but used to hold good shin digs back in the day, we went through a somewhat tired looking Stratford Shopping Centre, just to see if any dramatic changes had occurred since the ‘Diamond in the rough‘ opened.
I noticed that footfall was still busy and would not have expected otherwise since the mall is a thoroughfare for those arriving by bus for the underground from areas such as West Ham, Forest Gate etc. However, I did notice that Curry’s Digital and HMV had already defected. I asked a market trader if business had fallen off been affected since Westfield’s opening.
‘So far, touch wood, it’s just done the opposite for us. Well, I can only speak for myself, but Monday’s were dead days for me. Since it has opened business has been really good and the best Monday I have had since I can remember.
I watch with interest the development of Stratford since the build of the new bus station years ago to the whole Olympic site . We humans are geniuses in creating things fast! I have seen bridges being put into place, complete new access roads created, pylons put up and taken down, buildings and new homes creep slowly up into the skyline. Stratford is a mini city!
Upon arrival into Westfield within 10mins I had the deja vu feeling again, the same I had when visiting Westfield West. Of the many malls that I have visited in the USA this felt the same after you have visited the first 2 times, FLAT. Don’t know what I was expecting, but had hoped that as this was the last and biggest shopping mall in Europe, the Westfield group would pull out all the stops to make this one extra special.
Who knows? Maybe when the whole Olympic Park opens and everything is in place, Stratford will be its jewel in the crown and the feel of the whole area creates an identity of its own and second to none with great views in the bag.