Teeming throngs passed through the doors of the new Westfield centre, which spans 43 acres and nine London postcodes, to hear Leona Lewis perform
Photo: © Rex
Click on photos to enlarge

At the centre, which took five years to construct, the singer urged them to "enjoy the shops"
Photo: © Rex

A host of celebs took part in smaller ceremonies in many of the 256 shops, such as this one in La Senza, where the honours were done by the lingerie brand's spokesmodel Danielle Bux and her football comentator fiancé Gary
Photo: © Getty Images

Shoppers defy the downturn blues to join Leona at £1.7 billion mall

31 OCTOBER 2008
It seemed, for a few hours at least, as if Leona Lewis had managed to banish Britain's credit crunch blues entirely. Thousands of shoppers flocked to see the X Factor star lend her soaring vocals to the opening of Europe's biggest urban shopping complex – and get a glimpse of the centre's gleaming marble floors and crystal chandeliers.

Before performing at London's £1.7-billion Westfield development, the songbird urged the crowds to put their economic woes to one side.

"Enjoy the shops. It's right on our doorstep – we need to use it," said the Hackney girl, who was joined at Thursday's ceremony by Twiggy, Gary Lineker and his fiancée Danielle Bux.

London Mayor Boris Johnson echoed Leona's advice, telling the throng to get the cash tills ringing. "As some one who has attracted criticism for the cut of his suits, I'm about to join you," joked the politician famous for his lax sartorial style.

Five years in the making, Westfield is a shopping mecca with 256 shops, 50 restaurants and a cinema on a site covering an area the size of 30 football pitches.

It also boasts 96 escalators – enough to go to the top of the Ben Nevis and back – and 600 changing rooms. Not to mention hi-tech features such as 'Kidspotter', a tracking device which allows parents to find within minutes children who get lost.

  • Share this article:
  • AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Want to get sharing?

What is Yahoo! Buzz?