Is Greenwich Icon shopping centre struggling? Plans to merge units

Owners of a new shopping centre named Icon at the o2 in Greenwich have submitted plans to create larger units than previously planned by merging empty store space.

Is this an admission that the centre is perhaps not doing as well as expected?

Units to be merged apparently include two seen on ground floor here

I visited on opening day and enjoyed the centre (which for someone who gives malls a swerve was quite something) but noted the vast number of empty units. Many are still vacant over three months on.

Many people also complained of a lack of large household-name retail outlets. Could this be an attempt to attract some?

Units to be merged highlighted

One issue is the centre is marketed as an outlet centre which may put off some big names such as H&M, Primark, M&S etc.

Since opening many have noted how quiet the centre often appears to be.

A change of strategy could be on the cards.

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I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    11 thoughts on “Is Greenwich Icon shopping centre struggling? Plans to merge units

    • Ha,ha. Was that crowd photoshopped?

      I went out there about three months’ ago and it was very disappointing. Lots of empty units – the lower level was in darkness – and those stores that were trading didn’t have anything significantly marked down. If this is the challenger to Bicester Village, it’s a failure.

      @fromthemurkydepths: outlet trading is typically for high end brands and the high street is not usually represented.

    • I agree Jeff I think many people are still unaware it is there. I never see it it advertise anywhere around the Borough of Greenwich. I really hope the Icon Shopping Centre becomes a success when all units are open I am sure the number of visitors will increase.With the restaurants and bars this could be great place to meet friends and shop.

      I think it is ideally situated for people from South East and East London being close to North Greenwich Station and the Jubilee line.

    • The thing is on the Jubilee you have Canary Wharf and lots of shops just one stop west and then a few stops east is Stratford (5-10 mins on tube) and tons of shops there so it has a tough time attracting those from east and central London. It’s trying to differentiate via outlet shops but it remains to be seen how that will work.

      It could therefore go big on SE Londoners for whom Canary Wharf and Startford are a bit more tough to reach but the owners havn’t really focus much marketing locally – and buses are being reduced in frequency from many areas and increasingly held up in traffic.

      A tough one. I hope it succeeds as it was decent to visit and provides many jobs.

    • I think their PR and advertising could be so much better.

      Comparing the ICON opening with IKEA opening.

      Everyone living on the Peninsula and their dog now knows that IKEA is opening up a store here.

      Also in addition to improving peoples awareness that they exost I also think they need more stores, events and real outlet prices and promotions to attract more Londoners to come there.

    • My understanding is that the first phase was a soft opening with limited advertising. The full launch is around April when the lower level is completed and the restaurants, cinema extension, etc. come in. One would hope they will advertise properly at that stage. The shops they are combining are smaller units on the ground floor with a mezzanine level. I would suspect they have potential occupants lined up who asked for a bigger unit. The restaurants are already pre-let and ‘supposedly’ the shops were 90% pre-let. I’m hoping things will turn around in April otherwise it is likely to be a ghost town…

    • They would benefit from intermixing the retail and the bar and restaurant units. At the moment it is simply retail one side and hospitality the other side. A few fashionable bars or restaurants in the retail side and some late opening hours for the retail units may make it a destination to visit for an evening. Have a few drinks and some food and do some shopping. The current batch of by the numbers restaurants and bars in the other side of the O2 are unlikely to attract anyone to visit them unless you’re already at the O2 for an event and need somewhere to eat.

      Some quirky eateries and bars (think Brixton Market type stuff) could really help the O2 as a destination even when not going to the Arena.

    • Why is anyone surprised the place is empty? They haven’t filled all the units with retailers yet, the place is half finished, they weren’t due to fill all the units until early 2019 so what’s the problem? When the retailers are all moved in, a PR drive can go ahead, ads on the tube etc and people will come. Did you really expect a Tesco in there as an anchor tentant? It’s an outlet village like Bicester and Ashford, it’s a completely different type of shopping destination to Stratford and Canary Wharf. Speed up guys!

    • Never knew the O2 had a shopping centre. Last time I was there the place was full of restaurants,, a cinema and the arena. That was about 3-4 years ago. Nothing advertised about a shopping centre until I read online recently

    • Lets hope we sees the Icon Shopping Centre turn around when it is fully completed around April. I say again I hope it is a success as does provide many jobs.

      Dan makes a very good point if the retail units and bars restaurants are mixed and the retail units open later in the evenings this could be a good place to spend a evening combining it with a drink bite to eat and some shopping. I hope the owners and retailers will consider this in time for the full opening of the Shopping Centre in the Spring.

      Also Agree with Murky the cuts to bus services from South East London are making North Greenwich Station and the 02 Arena harder to reach by bus. I think some of the section 106 money from Developers around the Greenwich Peninsula should be released to improve bus services in the area.

    • ICON has to be the full Bicester Village type experience to draw the Chinese shoppers it is hoping to attract. Let’s hope the full opening will make us all change our mind.


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