The o2 Icon shopping centre one year on: a success or failure?
One year ago almost to the day doors opened at a new shopping centre in the o2 in Greenwich offering outlet prices.
I went to take a look, and despite all expectations, didn’t mind it at all. One reason was because it was quiet. Good for me; not so good for the owners and shops.
When it opened in October 2018 only around half the 85 units were occupied. The ground floor was deserted.
We were promised the rest of the site would become occupied in spring 2019. I had a few critical comments from readers when I highlighted the empty units at the time.
Well, some more shops have opened but nowhere near 85. Adidas and Nike opened over the summer. The website states there are currently “over 60” shops occupied.
Over the past year there have been plans to merge units to create bigger spaces. Even if so, that’s just a couple of units. It’s been slow going.
One fundamental issue seems to be advertising and awareness. Hardly anyone in the near vicinity seems to know it’s there. Even those living on the Peninsula or Greenwich itself are taken aback when it’s mentioned.
Adverts have been limited as has social media presence. Apart from a couple of press releases wrapped up as articles in some of the press, coverage is limited.
Perhaps they expected tourists to provide enough custom. Reports of windswept and empty floors suggests that hasn’t worked.
Maybe crowds at event nights are enough to keep it going. Maybe not.
Will we see more household names coming or a gradual decline? It could go either way. I’d like it to succeed of course. It provides jobs and this part of the o2 lay empty for many years after plans for a super casino didn’t progress. Market the thing better. Engage local people.
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