|Traded as||ASX: WDC|
Shopping centre management
|Founded||1960 (Westfield Development Corporation lists on the Sydney Stock Exchange)|
|Headquarters||85 Castlereagh Street
|Key people||Frank Lowy, Chairman
Brian Schwartz, Deputy Chairman
Steven Lowy, Co-CEO
Peter Lowy, Co-CEO
|Total assets||A$64.4bn (2012)|
|Employees||circa 4,000 staff worldwide (2010)|
|Subsidiaries||Westfield Management Limited, Westfield America Management Limited, and others|
|Website||Westfield Group corporate homepage|
The Westfield Group is an Australian shopping centre group undertaking ownership, development, design, construction, funds/asset management, property management, leasing, and marketing activities. The multinational company is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and has interests in and operates one of the world's largest shopping centre portfolios with investment interests in 103 shopping centres across Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and Brazil, encompassing around 23,000 retail outlets and total assets under management in excess of A$63 billion.
The Westfield Group had origins in the western suburbs of Sydney. The first development was named "Westfield Place", and opened in July 1959 in Blacktown. The name Westfield is derived from "west" related to the West-Sydney location, and "field" due to having located on subdivided farmland. The centre was opened by John Saunders and Frank Lowy.
The company was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 and built another five centres in New South Wales before expanding into Victoria and Queensland in 1966-67.
The expansion into the United States began with the purchase of the Trumbull Shopping Park in Connecticut in 1977, and was followed by three centres in California, Michigan and Connecticut in 1980 and three centres in California, New Jersey and Long Island, New York in 1986. In 1994 Westfield joined together with General Growth and Whitehall Real Estate to purchase 19 centres for US$1 billion. Westfield seems to form clusters of centres around particular cities or within a small number of states. They built considerable holdings on the east coast and in California before expanding in the Mid-West. By 2005, the company owned centres in 15 US states.
In the 1990s, Westfield began a major expansion to New Zealand, where they mostly bought existing shopping centres of the Fletchers company, progressively rebranding them. Only in 2007, with Westfield Albany, has the company opened a fully new centre in the country.
In April 2012 it was announced that the Westfield Group will sell seven 'non-core' property assets to Starwood Capital Group for A$1 billion and one other property to an undisclosed buyer for A$147 million. The funds will be used to repay debt and invest in businesses offering higher return. The sales are expected to be completed by mid–2012.
Westfield currently has interests in total assets worth A$58 billion, owning 119 shopping malls in four countries − Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States − with over 10 million square metres of retail space. It is the world's largest retail property group by equity market capitalization. Despite the Westfield Group's asset dimensions, the Westfield Group is strongly controlled by the Lowy Family Group, including non-executive chairman, Frank Lowy, one of its founders. Lowy's two younger sons, Steven and Peter, are joint managing directors.
Having been established in Australia, with their original premises being at Blacktown, the Westfield Group continue to operate a large number of shopping centres in Australia. The largest Westfield shopping centres in Australia include:
Centre name Location Total retail floor area m2 sq ft Westfield Fountain Gate Narre Warren, Victoria 174,000 m2 1,872,920 sq ft Westfield Chermside Chermside, Queensland 144,351 m2 1,553,780 sq ft Westfield Knox Wantirna South, Victoria 142,244 m2 1,531,102 sq ft Westfield Parramatta Parramatta, New South Wales 137,269 m2 1,477,550 sq ft Westfield Marion Marion, South Australia 133,227 m2 1,434,043 sq ft Westfield Southland Cheltenham, Victoria 129,071 m2 1,389,310 sq ft Westfield Bondi Junction Bondi Junction, New South Wales 126,895 m2 1,365,890 sq ft Westfield Doncaster Doncaster, Victoria 120,000 m2 1,300,000 sq ft Westfield Miranda Miranda, New South Wales 108,316 m2 1,165,900 sq ft Westfield Hornsby Hornsby, New South Wales 99,830 m2 1,074,600 sq ft Westfield Sydney Sydney, New South Wales 93,000 m2 1,000,000 sq ft
Since entering the United States market in 1977, Westfield has aggressively acquired, renovated and expanded many mall properties in order to draw wealthier consumers from longer distances. In July 2001, Westfield paid US$127 million for a 99-year lease on the retail area beneath the New York World Trade Center. In September 2003 the Westfield Group received US$17.3 million as a party in the insurance claim following the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. On 18 February 2006, the Los Angeles Times reported that Westfield, "the largest owner of shopping centres in California and the world", had agreed to acquire 15 stores from Federated Department Stores, all but three in southern California. Westfield has also financed large advertising campaigns to increase awareness of its Westfield brand. On 9 May 2006, Westfield announced the sale of 8 centres in the United States, in an effort to divest themselves of "non-strategic assets since they no longer fit within our investment criteria nor are they in our long-term redevelopment plans". Since then, the company disposed 5 centers, including four out of the remaining five "Westfield Missouri" malls, and the high end "Shops at 'Westfield' North Bridge." Westfield’s current portfolio includes 38 malls in the United States with nearly 7,000 stores across 46 million square feet of retail space in the states of California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Washington.
Westfield Malls are by far the most numerous chain in New Zealand, with 6 of its 11 centres in Auckland including their largest development located in Albany. In mid-2012 Westfield sold its 50% share of Westfield Shore City in Takapuna on Auckland's North Shore, now known as Shore City Shopping Centre. The group reportedly also has three of its smaller malls; Pakuranga, Glenfield, and Chartwell in Hamilton up for sale.
By far its most significant asset is Westfield's 50% partnership in the £1.6b Westfield London development in Shepherd's Bush, west London. The development included the construction of a new railway station for the London Overground and Southern services, and a new entrance for the London Underground station.
Westfield owns the Westfield Stratford City and also controls the Stratford City redevelopment project next to 2012 Olympic park in Stratford in east London, having acquired the 75% of the project that it did not already own.
Relationship with tenants
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has investigated several disputes between the Westfield Group and its tenants. In 2004 the Commission found Westfield was abusing its market and commercial power in settling disputes with tenants, and forced Westfield to formally undertake to not engage in "Unconscionable conduct and intimidation" of tenants.
Also in Australia, Westfield fee structures and policies have also been criticised by retailers who operate in centres which have been taken over by the multinational company. Retailers have suggested that when centres are acquired there should be more cooperation between the new operators and existing tenants in bringing shops up to the corporate standards of The Westfield Group, and increases in rent (required to operate a shopping centre with high standards of fittings and services) should be staged with the required improvements in fittings.
Relationship with competition
In Liverpool, Australia in 2002, a competing shopping centre was lodged to Liverpool Council and subsequently built. The centre would be about 3 kilometres from Westfield Liverpool. In 2003 when the second stage was built, the Westfield Group allegedly sought help from the government in forcing its closure.
Westfield Bondi Junction, Sydney
Westfield Burwood, Sydney
Westfield Chatswood, Sydney
Westfield Doncaster, Melbourne
Westfield Eastgardens, Sydney
Westfield, Sydney city centre
Westfield, Miranda, Sydney
Westfield Parramatta, Sydney
Westfield Kotara, Newcastle
Westfield Carindale, Brisbane
Westfield, Belconnen, Canberra
Westfield Chermside, Brisbane.
Westfield Belconnen, Canberra
Westfield Newmarket, Auckland
Boxing Day Shopping at Westfield London.
- Australian real estate investment trust
- Centro Properties Group
- Lend Lease Corporation
- List of shopping centres in Australia
- Shopping property management firms
- "Westfield Group reports full year earnings of $2.3 billion and forecasts growth in all markets" (pdf) (Press release). Westfield Group. 16 February 2011. Retrieved 19 August 2011.
- "The Westfield Group's shopping centre portfolio is one of the largest in the world." (Press release). Westfield Group. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Westfield Stirs (1956–1960) (pdf). "Westfield History". About us. p. 14. Retrieved 5 January 2007.
- Sammartino, André; Van Ruth, Frances (2007). "The Westfield Group". In Dick, H.; Merrett, D. The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar. pp. 308–318.
- Gibson, Anne (23 August 2007). "Countdown under way for Albany supermall rollout". New Zealand Herald.
- Saminather, Nichola (18 April 2012). "Westfield Sells 7 U.S. Malls to Starwood for $1 Billion". Bloomberg. Retrieved 18 May 2012.
- Cummins, Carolyn (24 September 2004). "Frank Lowy gives himself a $1.3m pay rise". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
- Larry Silverstein
- "Westfield wants out of World Trade Centre site". The Sydney Morning Herald. 5 September 2003.
- Roger Vincent. "Deal to Open Up Shopping Malls". Los Angeles Times.[dead link]
- "Westfield Group Announces Transactions With Centro Properties Group and Somera Capital Management" (Press release). Westfield Group. 9 May 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2006.
- Gibson, Anne (29 June 2012). "Westfield sells Auckland's Shore City mall". The New Zealand Heralf. Retrieved 11 August 2013.
- "Property Portfolio - London". Westfield Group. 2008-07-18. Retrieved 2008-07-18.
- "A New Icon in UK Retail: "Westfield London"" (PDF) (Press release). Westfield Group. 18 September 2006. Retrieved 2006-11-30.
- "Westfield to control 100% of Stratford City, Major East London Regeneration Project" (Press release). Westfield Group. 2006-06-13. Retrieved 2006-12-04.
- Kilner, Will (29 September 2006). "Broadway construction "will start in New Year"". Bradford Telegraph and Argus. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
- Walsh, David (30 November 2006). "The Eagle is Grounded". Derby Evening Telegraph. Retrieved 2006-11-30.
- Hughes, Anthony (18 June 2004). "Westfield promises not to bully". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 4 December 2006.
- "Westfield fees 'force business closure'". ABC News (Australia). 30 September 2006. Retrieved 28 November 2006.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Westfield Group.|
- Official website
- Westfield eCommerce platform developer site
- Westfield Group at the Wayback Machine (archived May 20, 2000)