June 19, 2020

Why Westfield’s plan to ditch department store for desks is a sign of the times, how the Dutch have managed their return to work and yearning for a decent cup of coffee

On this week's episode of EG's We're Still Here podcast, host Emily Wright is joined once again by news editor Pui-Guan Man to delve into the biggest story of the week - Westfield London's plans to convert its 104,000 sq ft House of Fraser department store into co-working space.

Emily and Pui discuss how the move is a sign of the times as widespread remote working looks set to be the catalyst for a more long-term, even permanent, suburbanisation of work. This combined with already difficult times for department stores could fuel a continued innovative approach to space.

Westfield's move is part of a wide-ranging mixed-use strategy set in motion by landlord Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield which filed an application with Hammersmith & Fulham council proposing a change of use for the four-level anchor store by splitting it into two separate spaces, comprising offices and some retail. Initial plans show the offices component would take up around 68,400 sq ft.

While it is early days, sources said URW was engaging with prospective co-working operators, and speculated that it may consider launching its own offering if these do not progress.

Also on this week's episode; how the Dutch have managed a slick return to work, celebrating EG's Tech Awards finalists announced this week and the lure of a decent cup of coffee.



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