Westfield team to develop internet Shoppingtown

31 March 1999

Countries: Australia

Westfield Holdings Limited today announced it had formed a teamto develop an internet Shoppingtown .

Research undertaken over the past two years has highlighted thepotential for Westfield – a household name for shopping inAustralia – to extend the range of services it offers to bothretailers and their customers via an internet Shoppingtown.

Westfield managing director, David Lowy, said the company’sinternet strategy was based on three key factors:

– Westfield’s unique brand which is synonymous withshopping;
– the potential to integrate the extensive Westfield Shoppingtownportfolio with on-line services – more than 270 million visits aremade to Westfield Shoppingtowns in Australia each year, with 5,500retail outlets generating $7 billion in sales; and,
– its experience in aggregating retail services and marketing themto the consumer.

“We are continually broadening the range of services we canoffer retailers and their customers and the internet is one ofthem, as are the Westfield Visa credit card and the many in-centrecustomer services.

“We see the internet as an opportunity to enhance business inthe Shoppingtowns. This will be an important element in ourstrategy as consumers increasingly look for the ‘out of home’experience as well as the convenience internet retailing mightoffer.

“We also believe Westfield is well placed to help retailersdevelop a meaningful on-line presence. This includes smallbusinesses which might not have the resources as well as medium andlarge businesses who do not wish to ‘go-it-alone’ on theinternet.”

Westfield Shoppingtowns already maintain an internet presencethrough the company’s corporate websites in Australia and the U.S.These are “information only” sites and the new internetShoppingtown will be completely different in design andoperation.

Mr Lowy said the development costs of Westfield’s internetShoppingtown would be borne by Westfield Holdings. Ifappropriate, Westfield Trust will have an opportunity toparticipate at a future date with respect to the Australianbusiness for a pro-rata share of the development cost and if theconcept is extended to the United States the Westfield Americagroup could also have an opportunity to participate for itspro-rata share.