History of Westfield Corp

BusinessReal Estate / August 9, 2016 /

History

Founded by John Saunders and Frank Lowy, Westfield Corp originated in the western suburbs of Sydney, Australia in July of 1959. It was floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1960 and expanded into New South Wales (where it has 5 centres), Victoria, and Queensland. In 1977, it set up shop in the U.S, and by 2005, it had centres in 15 U.S. States throughout the country. In the 1990s, the company bought and rebranded Fletchers stores in New Zealand. In 2007, Westfield opened a new New Zealand centre. It is still listed on the Australian Stock Exchange, but split into two entities (Scentre Group and Westfield Corp). It is now run by brothers and Co-CEOs Peter Lowy & Steven Lowy after their father Frank retired in May of this year. Peter Lowy had considered retiring (http://www.smh.com.au/business/property/westfields-peter-lowy-to-stay-with-group-20150224-13nzlh.html) after the company split, but decided to stay on after much debate.

Properties

Currently, Westfield has extensive properties. In the U.S., it has interests in 32 shopping malls. In the U.K., Westfield has interests in three such malls, and it is developing a project in Italy. Its centres total 34.

Finances

The Westfield Corporation is a prosperous business. In 2015, roughly 400 million customer visits caused over $16 billion in retail sales. Its centres produce a lot, have a strong franchise value, and can attract world-leading retail and luxury brands. Its strategy in obtaining this wealth is to develop and own retail stores, integrating various aspects of life (e.g. food, fashion, leisure, entertainment, etc.) into the products sold and using technology — Westfield Labs — to form and improve a connection between retailers and consumers. This technology operates in 85 global shopping centres, has 1.1 billion shopper visits a year, and claims $40 billion in retailer sales annually. To improve the Westfield Corporation’s portfolio, the company develops and acquires centres, exploring new marketing opportunities. Many centres in the portfolio the Westfield Corporation owns jointly with the world’s leading property investment companies. Then, the company manages every detail of its portfolio — design, construction, development, leasing, management, and marketing. It strives for the highest quality and seeks to make shopping a leisure experience. The result is that the portfolio already encompasses roughly 7,500 retail outlets with the total assets under management being in excess of $28.5 billion. Then, the development program is around $10.5 billion.