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.

Empty ground floor level

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.

Entrance to shopping area

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.

It’s one bus ride from areas like Lewisham to the o2 – but do people know of the mall?

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.

Upper floor

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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J Smith

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.

    5 thoughts on “The o2 Icon shopping centre one year on: a success or failure?

    • I’ve been a few times during the week – the most recent to buy shoes from Skechers – so don’t know what it’s like at the weekend, but it is ghostly with assistants who have given up on the welcoming smile.

      I seemed to remember something about luring Bicester Village shoppers to the outlet but honestly, there isn’t enough there and the lower level still didn’t have any open units. It’s a sort of catch 22: not open to attract the crowds/not enough shoppers to encourage more brands.

    • I think you have it the nail on the head Murky when you say that you it has not been advertised enough. I live not too far from the 02 and never see any signs for the Icon Shopping Centre. I think a lot of the passengers using North Greenwich Station do not even know it is there…

      I too would like to see it succeed as mentioned in previous post. it does create jobs for local people. Once more retaliers including some well know names on the High Street have open new shops here. I believe it would be a great place to shop have a bite to eat or see an event at the 02 or nearby Magazine Music Venue.

      I hope by this time next year it will be a thriving shopping centre enjoyed by locals and those who travel to the area for events at the 02 Arena and Magazine Music Venue. But for this to happen it needs to receive better marketing and advertising.

    • That’s not the biggest problem either though.

      The place looks and feels completely unfinished with all the works in plain sight. One worker cutting sawdust on a shoddy pallet with no gear. I think they are using unprofessional builders at the shopping centre and the range of shops isn’t very good too. As a chippy I can say that you wouldn’t get that on a building site. Watch out HSE are about !

    • I agree about the advertising, I live quite nearby and only found out it existed a couple of weeks ago. Will definitely go now I know about it.

    • I really hope now that were are in 2020 the Icon Shopping Centre at the 02 will see more shops opening and become a thriving shopping Centre that it deserves to be being so close to a major transport hub at North Greenwich Station,The Magazine Music Venue and Cineworld,and homes on the Greenwich Peninsula.

      If Icon cannot fill all the empty units. Why not put a Waitrose or Marks & Spencers Simply Food store in one of the empty units so local residents and passengers getting on and off the undeground at North Greenwich Station can pop in pick up some groceries have a drink or a coffee in one of the bars or coffee shops or a meal in one of the eateries/restaurants,

      Then they may have a wander a round the Shopping Centre. Bringing the much needed extra footfall the shopping centre and businesses need on a daily basis.


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