The newest Westfield Mall in the World Trade Center in Downtown NYC opened at noon on Tuesday August 16, 2016 and I was there!! The food vendors (especially Eataly!!) and the Apple Store (lines were ridiculous!!) were MOBBED. Other retailers, with the exception of & other stories and the Kiehl’s Store, had very little foot traffic in the early hours after the opening.
HERE’S WHAT HOT – AND NOT – ON OPENING DAY:
- The Oculus Space is gorgeous. Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.
- Huge enthusiastic crowds! Clearly, consumers are excited by the NEW. Retailers and mall operators will be challenged to update much more frequently.
- Eataly was even more mobbed than it was at its opening last week. They even had to close the day before Tuesday’s Grand Opening in order to restock because the crowds have been so huge.
- The absolutely gorgeous Sugarfina store – altho this one, sadly, also has no rose wine gummy bears! But they added me to the list.
- The digital signage – especially the 280ft long billboard in the passageway from Oculus to Battery Park City is fantastic – and a great way to constantly update what is happening in each of the stores in the mall. Btw, my snap of that signage (see above) garnered 115K views!!!
- Security is tight – NYPD and National Guard (?) are everywhere.
- At least 30 stores are not yet open.
- The layout – and getting from one building to the next – is extremely confusing e.g. Oculus is WTC 7, Eataly is WTC 4 and then there’s Fulton Center which is also somehow connected to the mall.
- The missing pop ups. Supposedly, there are 12 indoor sites and 5 exterior pop ups. Nobody could tell me where – or if – they even exist. But I did find some kiosks e.g. Perfume Station in the passageway leading from Oculus to Fulton – if these are the pop ups, they are a bust. Additionally, the pop ups were to consist of artisanal, first-to-market and emerging brands which was not what I saw
- Because the Oculus and Eataly locations are brand spanking new, they make The Fulton Center look drab and a bit downscale in comparison. The passageway from Oculus to Fulton is particularly drab.