Westfield shopping centre is the perfect example of giving your costumers an experience, greater than just shopping. The whole building is very impressive and modern. The natural light from the glass roof, and the extremely tall walls lets you believe you are not in a building but a big, modern bright new world, that you don’t need to leave. Patrick Vantomme, the head architect and Paul Sutliff did a great job maximizing the ‘dwell time’ of costumers in Westfield; There are countless food stands and restaurant, a big cinema, two gyms, a small kids area and a big ‘kidz world’, as well as massage saloons and resting areas, where one can even charge a phone. There are also barber shops, manicure and make up services, cars are being showcased and you can get a free eye test. The building is designed so people don’t have to or want to leave for a very long time. They have everything from super markets to furniture stores.
There are two main floors and the first floor has lots of balconies and open spaces, letting natural light shine to the bottom floor and creating a free, ‘airy’ space. Also the costumers see more shops at the bottom floor.
A few more examples of the experience economy you can find, are for example that the children’s play area was surrounded by children’s shops like lego or other toyshops and loads of clothing shops for very small kids. Also the play area had a sweet shop on one side of it and a donut stand on the other. I am guessing the children are encouraged to have a sugar shock so they want to stay longer and get their mums to buy more toys. Another good example, which got me hooked was that they had a new electric car being showcased and you could sit inside, watch YouTube videos on it’s screen and ask questions about it. I sat in there for a good 10 minutes but did not buy a car in the end because of financial reasons. I came there to buy new trainers and most of the sports shops were very impressive how you could design your own sneakers and try them out on a running machine.
There is a ‘fancy’ part of Westfield, where all the high-end brands are located. You can see the difference in design on this photo. The mall transforms into a fancy, darker light, luxurious shopping street only that chandeliers are hanging from the ceiling.
Westfield is definitely designed to maximize consumerism. For people who have never been there, they may be impressed by the surface design but they are actually affected a lot deeper as well. There are no start-up shops in the whole shopping centre, only high street brands, which makes the average shopper feel very much at home and comfortable with the ‘trusted big brands’. Also all the people working for the mall have a subtle universal uniform, insuring security and help if needed.