With less than a month to go until the 85-shop Icon outlet shopping centre in the o2 opens, more details of what’s in store have been revealed.
In addition to shops recently announced and covered here, the centre will open on October 20th at 10am. Opening times from Monday to Wednesday with then be 10am to 8pm, 10am to 10pm from Thursday to Saturday and Sunday is midday to 6pm.
Shops at the centre include Levis, Clarks Outlet, Gap, G-Star, Hobbs and Yankee Candle, amongst many more with some yet to be announced.
Restaurants and cafes include Gaucho, Gentleman Baristas and Busaba Eathai. Mind you I thought one of those went into administration and others already there. Perhaps the info isn’t too reliable, and they think the cinema in the o2 is Odeon (it’s Cineworld).
Some have questioned how this will all work with the bag checking policy at the o2. There may not be much else in terms of shops in the immediate area, but a new market and design district is currently under construction.
And what of people wanting to pop in on their way home from work with bags?
They are advertising a bag drop for £10 though I’m not sure how well that will go down.
Visitor numbers are predicted by the o2s owners to be in the millions. How that will work if people are checked on arrival will be interesting. Long queues will put many off. It’s bad enough at concert time currently.
After shopping, customers can also leave their bags for £5 whilst they go elsewhere in the o2, perhaps to a gig or Cineworld, which is also being expanded.
Only around half the retail units will be ready by opening with more expected to open throughout 2018 and into 2019.
For prospective shoppers, they’ll get to enjoy those car, bus and underground queues. The bus station is often at, or over, capacity. There’s been no movement at all on the new transport interchange since it was announced in February 2017. No consultations. No planning application.
Rail isn’t listed as an option on the o2’s website, which is odd as that’s my chosen method (at least for gigs) learnt through bitter experience. Sure, it’s a 20 minute walk to the nearest Southeastern station but it beats very slow queues and scrums.
I’m clearly not expecting people splashing out £££ at shops to walk 20 mins, and this is more a general ponder about the o2. If even a minority were encouraged to walk after a gig, the long queues would alleviate slightly.
Anyway, it’ll be fun to watch the crowds converge and depart on a gig night, with shoppers heading that way as well as people to the expanded cinema. Will the bag search policy and transport cope without a ton of frustrated visitors?
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