OXFORD’S £440m Westgate Centre can repeat the success of its first year with a series of special events and promotions, according to a retail expert.

International fashion chains Zara, Mango and Urban Outfitters opened at the end of last year, and the centre, which features 100 new shops and restaurants, is almost full.

According to the owners, Land Securities, there are no more major announcements for the time being regarding new stores opening but it is thought to be at least 95 per cent let.


A spokeswoman said: “We’ve welcomed several big-name brands in recent months, from Zara and Mango to Urban Outfitters and Flannels.

“These well-known and much-loved retailers further strengthen our already fantastic offering and we’re incredibly excited to welcome them to the line-up at Westgate Oxford.

“Westgate Oxford is almost fully let which is a great achievement – any further announcements will be made in due course.”

READ AGAIN: Westgate's first birthday celebrations

Retail expert Keith Slater said managers of the new centre, which opened in October 2017, would have to work hard to repeat the success of the centre’s first year, when it attracted 19 million visitors.

He added: “The Westgate Centre is great in terms of its offer, its presentation and its atmosphere.

“It did well in its first year but the pressure will be on to repeat that success at a time when parts of the high street are really struggling - Debenhams and Marks & Spencer have been going through difficult times. The offer at Westgate is quite high end which will attract the tourists - I don’t see why they can’t repeat the success of the first year.”


Mr Slater said Westgate Centre managers, and managers at anchor store John Lewis should try to bring in visitors with regular promotional events.

READ MORE: How Westgate makes money for the city of Oxford

He added: “It doesn’t necessarily have to be linked to shopping - it could be a music performance, a book signing session or a late-night discount event just for students.

“The centre so far, and John Lewis has been good at arranging special promotions and that needs to continue - the rooftop restaurant terrace is a real asset and could be used for more events.”


Visitors to the Oxfordshire economy bring in a staggering £2.17bn a year and Mr Slater said ‘clever marketing’ could create a closer link between the Westgate Centre and designer outlet shopping attraction Bicester Village.