Westfield Group


Westfield Group

Infobox Company
company_name =Westfield Group
company_
company_type = Public (asx|WDC)
foundation = 1960 (Westfield Development Corporation lists on the Sydney Stock Exchange)
location = flagicon|AUS Sydney, Australia
key_people =
area_served = flagicon|AUS Australia
flagicon|NZL New Zealand
flagicon|UK UK
flagicon|USA USA
industry = Property development
products =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income = profit $5.58 billion (2005-06)
num_employees = 4,647 staff worldwide (as at 31 December 2006) [ [http://westfield.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au/Westfield0701/Westfield%20Group%20Annual%20Report%202006/EN/body.aspx?z=1&p=74&v=2&uid= Westfield Group Annual Report 2006 ] ]
parent =
subsid =
homepage = [http://www.westfield.com/ www.westfield.com]
footnotes =
intl = yes

The Westfield Group is an Australian company and the largest retail property group in the world by equity market capitalisation and the ninth largest entity listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. [ [http://westfield.com/newdoncaster/about/index.html Westfield - Doncaster ] ]

The multinational company owns and operates shopping centres in Australia, United States, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Westfield shopping centres are typically branded with the name "Westfield" or "Westfield Shoppingtown" in their name.

Current operations

Westfield currently has interests in total assets worth A$41 billion, representing 121 shopping centres in four countries - Australia, New Zealand, the United States and the United Kingdom - with over 10 million square metres of retail space. It is the world's largest retail property group by equity market capitalisation, yet it is still chaired by Frank Lowy, one of its founders. [cite news
author = Carolyn Cummins, Commercial Property Editor
title = Frank Lowy gives himself a $1.3m pay rise
url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/09/23/1095651469397.html
publisher = The Sydney Morning Herald
date = 2004-09-24
accessdate = 2006-11-28
language = english
]

United States

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. Six week prior to the World Trade Center attacks it acquired the The Mall at the World Trade Center. It has also financed large advertising campaigns to increase awareness of its Westfield brand. On May 9 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". [cite press release
title = Westfield Group Announces Transactions With Centro Properties Group and Somera Capital Management
publisher = Westfield Group
date = 2006-05-09
url = http://westfield.com/corporate/newsroom/announcements/2006/2006509_35905.html
accessdate = 2006-12-05
] 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."

United Kingdom

Westfield has an interest in 6 shopping centres in the UK. Additionally, Westfield is involved in the development of three further shopping centres.
*It is a 50% development partner [cite web
title = Property Portfolio - London
publisher = Westfield Group
date = 2008-07-18
url = http://westfield.com/corporate/property-portfolio/united-kingdom/london.html
accessdate = 2008-07-18
] in the £1.6b [cite press release
title = A New Icon in UK Retail: "Westfield London"
publisher = Westfield Group
date =2006-09-18
url = http://westfield.holler.co.uk/pdfs/press/Westfield%20Launch.pdf
accessdate = 2006-11-30 |format=PDF
] Westfield London development in Shepherd's Bush, west London. The development includes the construction of a new railway station for the new London Overground service.
*Westfield also controls the Stratford City redevelopment project next to 2012 Olympic park in London, having recently acquired the 75% of the project that it did not already own. [cite press release
title = Westfield to control 100% of Stratford City, Major East London Regeneration Project
publisher = Westfield Group
date = 2006-06-13
url = http://www.westfield.com/corporate/newsroom/announcements/2006/2006613_51376.html
accessdate = 2006-12-04
]
*Westfield is currently the developer behind the troubled Broadway shopping development in Bradford after acquiring Stannifer in 2004. [cite news
last = Kilner
first = Will
title = Broadway construction "will start in New Year"
publisher = Bradford Telegraph and Argus
date = 2006-09-29
url = http://devel.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/regeneration/rebirth/rebirthnews/display.var.945584.0.broadway_construction_will_start_in_new_year.php
accessdate = 2006-12-04
]
*On the 9 October 2007 Westfield opened the £340m extension and refurbishment of Derby's Eagle Centre, which saw the shopping centre rebranded "Westfield Derby", [cite news
last = Walsh
first = David
title = The Eagle is Grounded
publisher = Derby Evening Telegraph
date = 2006-11-30
url = http://www.thisisderbyshire.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=131596&command=displayContent&sourceNode=124371&contentPK=16075900&folderPk=55129&pNodeId=124522
accessdate = 2006-11-30
] and also has a £400million plan to expand and renovate Westfield Broadmarsh shopping centre in neighbouring Nottingham in the East Midlands.

It has been argued that Westfield's major competitive advantages lie in their specific skills and innovations in (i) propertyselection; (ii) redevelopment; (iii) branding and marketing; (iv) retailerrelations; and (v) financing.André Sammartino & Frances Van Ruth (2007), 'The Westfield Group’, in Dick, H. & Merrett, D. (eds.), "The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation", Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, pp.308-318.]

Australia

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 " [http://westfield.ice4.interactiveinvestor.com.au/Westfield0701/Westfield%20Group%20Annual%20Report%202006/EN/body.aspx?z=2&p=-3&v=2&uid=|Westfield Group Annual Report 2006] " identifies the largest locations in each state as:
*Westfield Belconnen in the Australian Capital Territory,
*Westfield Parramatta in New South Wales,
*Westfield Chermside in Queensland,
*Westfield Marion in South Australia,
*Knox City Shopping Centre in Victoria, and
*Westfield Carousel in Western Australia

New Zealand

Westfield Malls are by far the most popular chain in New Zealand, with over 9 in Auckland alone. There are more throughout the country, the largest in Albany.

Locations include:

* Auckland
** Westfield Albany
** Westfield Downtown
** Westfield Glenfield
** Westfield Manukau City
** Westfield Newmarket
** Westfield Pakuranga
** Westfield St Lukes
** Westfield Shore City
* Christchurch
** Westfield Riccarton
* Hamilton
** Westfield Chartwell
* Wellington
** Westfield Queensgate

History

The Westfield Group had origins in the western suburbs of Sydney.cite web | title=westfield/corporate | work=Westfield History - Chapter One - 1956–1960 Westfield Stirs p.14 | url=http://westfield.com/corporate/pdf/history/chapter1.pdf | accessdate = 2007-01-05|format=PDF] The first development was named "Westfield Place", and opened in July 1959 in Blacktown, Sydney.cite web | title=westfield/corporate | work=Westfield History - Chapter One - 1956–1960 Westfield Stirs p.14 | url=http://westfield.com/corporate/pdf/history/chapter1.pdf | accessdate = 2007-01-05|format=PDF] The name Westfield is derived from "West" related to the West-Sydney location, and "field" due to having located on subdivided farmland.cite web | title=westfield/corporate | work=WestfieldNewZealandWestfield History - Chapter One - 1956–1960 Westfield Stirs p.14 | url=http://westfield.com/corporate/pdf/history/chapter1.pdf | accessdate=5 January | accessyear=2007] The centre was opened by John Saunders and Frank Lowy.cite web | title=westfield/corporate | work=Westfield History - Chapter One - 1956–1960 Westfield Stirs p.14 | url=http://westfield.com/corporate/pdf/history/chapter1.pdf | accessdate = 2007-01-05|format=PDF] 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.André Sammartino & Frances Van Ruth (2007), 'The Westfield Group’, in Dick, H. & Merrett, D. (eds.), "The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation", Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, pp.308-318.] The expansion into the US was quite slow. It began with the purchase of the Trumbull Shopping Centre 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.André Sammartino & Frances Van Ruth (2007), 'The Westfield Group’, in Dick, H. & Merrett, D. (eds.), "The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation", Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, pp.308-318.] 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 still only own centres in 15 US states.André Sammartino & Frances Van Ruth (2007), 'The Westfield Group’, in Dick, H. & Merrett, D. (eds.), "The Internationalisation Strategies of Small-Country Firms: The Australian Experience of Globalisation", Edward Elgar: Cheltenham, UK, pp.308-318.]

In the 1990s, Westfield began a major expansion across the Tasman 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." [http://www.nzherald.co.nz/topic/story.cfm?c_id=318&objectid=10459307 Countdown under way for Albany supermall rollout] " - "New Zealand Herald", Thursday 23 August 2007]

On December 14, 2007 it was announced that British fashion gurus Trinny Woodall and Susannah Constantine are to embark upon a tour of the New Zealand and Australia Westfield centres where they will make a series of public appearances, after signing a contract with the company." [http://www.news.com.au/heraldsun/story/0,21985,22929635-5012974,00.html British reality show comes to Australia] ". news.com.au. Retrieved 2007-12-28.] During the tour, which will include visits to Melbourne and Sydney, they will be giving fashion advice to customers at the Westfield centres. [Connolly, Ellen. " [http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,22928857-2,00.html?from=mostpop Television's fashion police head Down Under] ". news.com.au. Retrieved 2007-12-28.]

Relationship with tenants

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has had 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. [cite web
author = Anthony Hughes
title = Westfield promises not to bully
url = http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2004/06/17/1087245042519.html
publisher = The Sydney Morning Herald
date = 2004-06-18
accessdate = 2006-12-04
]

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. [cite news
title= Westfield fees 'force business closure'
url= http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200609/s1752672.htm
publisher= ABC News Online
date= 2006-09-30
accessdate= 2006-11-28
]

Relationship with competition

In 2002 a competing shopping centre was lodged to Liverpool (New South Wales) council and subsequently built. The centre would be about 3 kilometres from Westfield Liverpool (as the crow flies). In 2003 when the second stage was built, the Westfield Group allegedly sought help from the government to force its closure. For more information, see the Orange Grove affair.


=Location

ee also

*Shopping property management firms
*Centro Properties Group
*Stockland
*Lend Lease Corporation

References

External links

* [http://www.westfield.com/ Westfield home page]
* [http://www.westfield-shops.com/ Westfield London Shops]


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