The opening of the One New Change shopping centre has certainly created a buzz in the City of London. The development brings together big brands including Banana Republic, Topshop and Next, alongside high end labels such as Karen Millen and Kurt Geiger. Diners also have not been forgotten and when I visited last Friday Byron and Nando’s had two of the largest queues.
One question is whether by opening seven days a week the centre will be able to change shopping habits in this part of central London, an area previously closed to shoppers at the weekends. It seems unlikely that London residents will travel to the city at the weekend when there are larger, more comprehensive retail centres such as the West End and Westfield London on offer, or Canary Wharf which provides parking. Indeed, it is felt that there will be little negative impact on spend levels in these retail centres as a result of the new development.
It would therefore seem that One New Change will be largely reliant on tourist trade at the weekends. As such it will be susceptible to currency fluctuations and other variables affecting tourist retail spend. There is also the question as to whether tourists will be aware of a new shopping centre within the city of London. Is the retail offer strong enough to pull tourists away from St Paul’s and persuade them to part with their holiday money? The addition of a good leisure offer will undoubtedly make the centre more appealing to tourists but only time will tell whether it can change retail spend patterns in the capital.