Westfield Corp will focus on developing retail at airports similar to its site at Tom Bradley International airport, Los Angeles.Global retail giant Westfield has invested close to $100 million in the Los Angeles International Airport as part of its transformation of transport hubs across North America.
The opening of the revamped Terminal 2 at Tom Bradley International Terminal, which is used by other carriers except those flying to Australia, is part of Westfield's contract for the five terminals at the airport. Once completed the airport will have been given a $US 8.5 billion ($12 billion) facelift to cater for the more than 75 million passengers that pass through.
The retail landlord has said that airports are the new frontier for the sector with huge foot traffic of travelers wanting to see and do things while waiting for their flights.
The same has occurred at Sydney's international terminal which has undergone a significant upgrade of the duty free shopping concourse and last week saw Tiffany & Co open to join a number of upmarket brands.
At Terminal 2 the group has transformed nearly 76,000 square feet, (7060 square metres) including more than 15,000 square feet (4572 square metres) of new dining and retail.
Westfield is the international arm of the retail empire and is run by Steven and Peter Lowy. It emerged from the change in structure last year when the business was split. Scentre Group is now the owner and manager of the Westfield malls in Australia and New Zealand, while Westfield Corp runs the shopping centres in the United States, Britain and Italy. The group reports its full year results later this month.
Westfield entered into the LA terminal in 2013 and now has a presence in the major airports in New York, Chicago, Boston, Florida and Texas, with about 700 retailers in total and close to 56,000 sqm.
The group is also due to open the new mall at World Trade Centre in New York.
The new Terminal 2 projects $41 million in annual sales, a 34 per cent increase. The number of permanent employees in the terminal is projected to increase by 76 per cent.
Westfield designed and managed common area improvements, from the floor to the ceiling, and relocated and redesigned an uninspiring, inefficient staircase to become the exciting focal point of the terminal and activated new revenue generating space.
The 20 month redevelopment at Terminal 2 was the terminal's first upgrade in nearly 30 years.
Westfield's construction team managed hundreds of projects to keep the 24 hour terminal open, maintaining customer service and flight operations during the process. The terrazzo floor, for example, took 10 months and 15 phases to complete all on its own.