European malls have a leg up on Canadian ones
European malls have a leg up on Canadian ones

Westfield Mall

There is really no time like the present to open a multi-billion dollar new mall. I am not alone when I say I didn’t expect much from Westfield, Europe’s largest indoor shopping centre which opened in London back in October. I mean if you’ve ever been to the U.S., you know malls. So I waited until this past Saturday to make a trip over. It was too cold to do anything outdoors after all. And by too cold, I mean – 3ºC. Yes, I’m acclimatized now.

The concept of a mall in London takes a little getting used to. I think the convenience factor, including super long store hours, just seems a bit out of place. After all, this is the place where you still can’t get a debit card replaced on the same day at the branch! Maybe it’s the fact that malls usually suffer from poor ventilation, have a shortage of stylish stores, and really poor food options, but the mall experience that I know is generally unsuccessful and very tiring. Shopping at Westfield, however, I was pleasantly surprised. Toronto malls could learn a thing or two.

  1. Ban fast food and opt instead for express outlets of real restaurants in the food court.
  2. Group stores from the same category in the same area: homeware, kiddies, luxury, etc.
  3. Have a champagne bar.
  4. Sign up unexpected and interesting stores, stores that don’t exist in every other mall across the country.
  5. Create ambiance when the shopping is done with stylish restaurants that are not rainforest-themed, Milestones, or Moxie’s.

What’s definitely going to bring me back to Westfield is the COS store. Think of it as a more expensive, higher quality, minimalist version of H&M. Be sure to add COS and Westfield to your next London to do list.

Terry Chan is a Canadian lawyer practicing finance law in London. She writes every Friday on style and fashion, perfectly aware that the next big thing is not looking like a lawyer.