The 5,000-space car park at Westfield Stratford City is now completely closed until September. Visitors can only access the Stratford Shopping Centre, next to the Olympic Stadium by public transport. Retails are worried for their business as the closure has already resulted in a sharp drop in shopper numbers.
Retailers at Westfield Stratford City have complained that the car park closure at Stratford City will have a strong impact on sales targets and business. However, it has already been announced that the car park would not reopen until after the Paralympic Games. Retailers will have to face 12 weeks of business knowing that customers can only access the shopping centre by public transport.
Many retailers are wondering why it has been necessary to close the car park for so long. The London 2012 Olympics will only start on July 27. Many fashion retailers are also finding it hard to sell their summer collections as the weather has been so bad in the UK this June.
Eighty per cent of visitors arrive at the shopping centre by public transport and the shopping centre has tried to communicate as efficiently as possible about the car park closure. The timing of the closure was dictated by Olympics organiser LOCOG. The car park has been closed almost six weeks before the Olympics to prepare for the event and ease the organisational process. About 7 million visitors are expected in Stratford over the Games.