The company's loyalty platform, Westfield Plus, has increased its membership to 2.5 million.

Retail Beauty recently reported on the record national retail sales delivered in March. Scentre Group, the owner and operator of 42 Westfield Living Centres across Australia and New Zealand, confirms that Aussies flooded back to the shops during the first quarter of the year.

From January to the end of March, the shopping centre major completed 536 lease deals, including 237 new merchants and 50 new brands.

According to Peter Allen, CEO of Scentre Group, we have continued to drive more visitation and saw a significant increase in sales for our business partners, above pre-pandemic levels.

“Customer visitation was 12 per cent higher than 2021 or 16 per cent higher when excluding CBD centres. We are seeing week-on-week improvement across our suburban and CBD based centres. Demand from existing and new businesses who want to expand their physical store network continues.”

Westfield Living Centres are leading beauty and health destinations nationwide. Major brands include Aesop, Aveda, Chanel, Ella Baché, Hairhouse, Jurlique, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, M.A.C and The Body Shop. Specialist retailers such as Mecca, Mecca Maxima and Sephora and prestige beauty stalwarts Myer and David Jones are also a major part of Westfield’s store mix.

Speciality stores have performed very well over the first quarter, notes Allen. “Comparable sales of major retailers and speciality stores were up by 11.2 per cent in March 2022, compared to the same month in 2019, pre-Covid, and for the quarter were up 7.1 per cent.”

Westfield Direct, the aggregated click-and-collect service launched last October,  has experienced continued growth. “Westfield Direct has over 200 sellers and more than 220,000 products,” he says. “In the six months since launch, customers have placed over 40,000 orders, including more than 21,000 orders in the three months to March 31st”.

The company’s loyalty platform, Westfield Plus, has increased its membership to 2.5 million, creating more opportunities for Scentre Group through first party data.

Other highlights of the first quarter of the year include the opening of the new $55 million rooftop entertainment, leisure and dining precinct at Westfield Mt Druitt in Sydney. The $355 million expansion of Westfield Knox in Melbourne is also progressing strongly with pre-leasing in line with company expectations.

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