Westfield Mall of the Netherlands in Leidschendam finally opened its doors on 18 March. After twelve years and 630 million in investments, owner Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield (URW) celebrated a festive, if small-scale, opening ceremony. Due to the corona measures, there is no major opening party, non-essential shops are only open by appointment and various catering and entertainment areas of the center are still closed, but the opening could no longer be delayed. “With this, Westfield gives entrepreneurs room to start selling safely under the current circumstances and in accordance with the applicable guidelines,” says URW.
Westfield Mall of the Netherlands is intended as a world of experiences, with catering, a cinema, an arcade hall and a large number of shops. The old Leidsenhage shopping center was converted and expanded considerably over the course of ten years. Westfield Mall of the Netherlands has a floor space of117,000 square meters with room for 280 stores. Part of the ‘lifestyle destination’ already opened in 2018, but now the entire center is open. Many retailers have already been established in the center, such as Hema, The Sting, Costes, Peek & Cloppenburg, H&M, Monki, Scotch & Soda, Coef, Dstrezzed, A Fish Named Fred, Zara, Stradivarius, Bershka, Pull & Bear, 10Days, America Today, Guts & Gusto, G-Star RAW, Guess, Triumph, Van Uffelen, Yaya, MSCH Copenhagen, MS Mode, Skechers and Jeans Center.
The concept of the Westfield Mall of the Netherlands is based on ‘the idea of one movement, one design, one identity’, according to URW. The location was designed by MVSA Architects and the façade was inspired by a ‘voile, a silk scarf, which is draped smoothly over the building like a second skin’. “We are extremely proud to support our retailers in these difficult times by opening our doors. A grand opening with all our 280 hotspots is unfortunately not possible, but we hope for a second chance later in the year,” says Bart van Twillert, Country Manager Netherlands.
The planned festivities surrounding the opening will be postponed to a later time, when the restaurants, cinema and other leisure facilities will be able to open. Due to the current corona measures, the Mall of the Netherlands is only accessible for shopping by appointment and click & collect. The essential shops and food market Fresh! are open as normal.
“We imagined the opening day to be very different. But our first priority now is for the entrepreneurs to start making sales,” said Bart van Twillert. “A big opening party will follow later this year. We have to hold on for a while, but as soon as the measures are further relaxed, consumers and entrepreneurs can fully enjoy the experience that Westfield Mall of the Netherlands will offer.”