Despite the health crisis, AG Real Estate is on the verge of completing the extensive renovation and extension works it started in 2019 in Westland Shopping Centre in Anderlecht.
The aim of these renovations is to make the centre more attractive by redefining its identity, with a customer focus based on the "Live, Shop, Play" concept, and by expanding its commercial offer. The programme includes the arrival of a large department store and a number of other new retailers, the expansion of the Food & Beverage offer and the creation of a leisure centre of over 4,000 m².
Once the new spaces are available this spring, Westland will have a total surface area of 52,000 m², consolidating its position as the destination shopping centre in the west of Brussels.
Almost 90% of the total retail space has been commercialized to date and the next few months will see the completion of what is already an exceptional retail mix.
Astrid Flamand, Senior Transaction & Development Manager - Retail at AG Real Estate, who is in charge of the redevelopment of Westland Shopping Centre, confirms: "We are entering the final stretch of the works with composure and enthusiasm. The challenge of the last few months, namely to transform an operational shopping centre while minimizing the nuisance to retailers and local residents, in the midst of a global health crisis, has been brilliantly met by the team. We can be very proud of the technical, aesthetic and commercial outcome. As a result, we are confident that the future Westland Shopping Centre will maintain its position as a major asset in our portfolio.”
The key to success: the commercial mix.
It is already clear at this stage that the extensive makeover undertaken by the AG Real Estate team has been a resounding success. The 'new' Westland Shopping Centre is winning over both its customers and retailers.
Concretely, these figures support this statement:
- more than 90% of the space is rented or in the final stages of negotiation
- 34 existing retailers have already committed to renovating their stores, demonstrating their confidence in the teams that have carried out the shopping renovations to integrate the "Live, Shop, Play" concept.
- 17 new retailers are already confirmed for installation
- An expanded offering of new food & beverage and leisure brands will occupy more than 15% of the total shopping area
- 40% increase in parking and inclusion of soft mobility
And for Westland fans, extended opening hours for the various fun and entertainment activities, including Sundays!
Details of the major changes:
Press Shop, DI, CLUB, Claire's, Neuhaus, Foot Locker, Damart and Alan Paul have started work on refurbishing their private cells and have aligned themselves with the look and feel of the new centre. Naf Naf, Etam, Undiz, Yves Rocher and Neckerman will follow in the coming months.
Some retailers think big:
A good number of long-established retailers wanted to seize this opportunity to reassert their commitment by moving to a new and generally larger premises:
- Delhaize: since the summer of 2021, the supermarket has been offering its new service concept in brand new premises of no less than 4,000 m², created for them at the north end of the site.
- H&M: currently housed on the ground floor, the Swedish retailer will add an extra floor and increase its surface area to almost 2200m².
- Vanden Borre: historically located in the central area of the shopping centre, the household appliances retailer recently unveiled its new brand image on a 770m² floorspace, in the premises previously occupied by Delhaize.
- Gilance: this leather goods retailer recently opened a brand-new outlet of more than 300m², which will enable it to expand its commercial offer and propose major international brands.
- Ici Paris XL: the perfumery opened its brand new 400m² shop right before Christmas at the other end of the shopping centre -- at the western entrance, to be more precise.
- West Optic: this privately owned chain has been in the shopping centre for nearly 40 years and decided to double its sales area on the upper floor of the mall so as to redefine its commercial offer and provide additional services.
- Mano: the shoe shop will move to larger central premises on the ground floor of the mall in the coming weeks.
- Hairdis: already present in the Westland Shopping Centre, this business selling hairdressing and beauty products has also followed the expansion and will offer its services in a larger area.
- Linor: convinced of the new concept, this long-established jewellery store in the Westland will expand its retail space and range of international brands to the delight of its loyal customers.
- Mister Minit: has moved to a larger area to expand its range of services.
These positive developments are accompanied by great news for consumers. The following new brands will soon be joining the shopping centre:
- Peek & Cloppenburg: the Westland Shopping Centre is delighted to welcome this quality German brand back to Belgium after years of absence. The department store will feature a wide range of multi-brand clothing as well as shoes and accessories. The sales area will be spread over 2 floors in premises of more than 4000m² located in the central part of the mall and will undoubtedly be a commercial powerhouse for the shopping centre.
- English Home: the Turkish retailer has recently opened a 250m² shop offering interior design and decoration items.
- Maxizoo: the German retailer will open a 500m² shop in the next few days offering products for our four-legged friends.
- Calzedonia: this very popular Italian brand of tights, stockings, socks and leggings set up shop in the Westland Shopping Centre at the beginning of the year.
- Medimarket: following the takeover of the IU store in the centre, the parapharmaceutical outlet will be moving to new premises of more than 350m², offering a range of products, treatment rooms and dietary advice.
- Guess: a new shop for this brand will open in the spring and will offer, in addition to men's and women's wear, a whole range of accessories from leather goods to jewellery and sunglasses.
Food & Beverage:
Finally, as part of the desired diversification, the following food and beverage retailers will be added to the existing offer:
- Hawaiian Poke Bowl: located mainly in Flanders, the Hawaiian Poke Bowl chain, which offers a revolution in healthy food, opened its restaurant a few months ago.
- Asie A Tik: this restaurant opened at the beginning of December and offers a varied menu with a Japanese theme in a very well-designed setting. With its entrance from outside the centre, it remains open in the evenings and also offers takeaway.
- Loola: the pizza and salad chain opened its new outlet in December, at the western entrance to the shopping centre. The new outlet has a nice terrace and outdoor access and can thus operate in the evening outside shopping hours.
- Lloyd Café Eatery: a new trendy and casual restaurant that will soon open its doors for lunch or dinner breaks but also for great brunches on weekends.
- Australian Homemade Ice Cream: this brand needs no introduction and will be opening a kiosk on the upper floor of the Shopping Centre in the second half of the year, for the enjoyment of young and old.
And to complete the new branding of the Shopping Centre: Play
Leisure centre: set up on 4,000m², this space will offer around ten different leisure activities, aimed at both children and adults. Opening planned for the end of 2022.