CITY shopping centre One New Change attracted thousands of workers from across the Square Mile when it opened for trading yesterday.
Outgoing Marks & Spencer chairman Sir Stuart Rose officially opened the mall, which is home to 60 shops and restaurants on Cheapside opposite St Paul’s Cathedral.
Topshop owner Sir Philip Green and representatives of the Lord Mayor of London also attended the opening.
Rose told City A.M.: “I think it’s the perfect time to be opening this centre. These things take years to plan, and this recession isn’t going to be here forever. This is an investment in London that will be here for 100 years.”
Rose said he was pleased with the performance of Marks & Spencer since he handed over the reins to Marc Bolland. “He is absolutely the right leader for Marks & Spencer, and I am very happy with him leading the business. As for the M&S opening today – the more the merrier, though I would have liked to have seen a bigger store.”
Colette O’Shea, development director at developer Land Securities, said she hoped the centre would become a stand-alone destination. “It’s somewhere that you can bring your family and spend time. It’s really going to change the face of the City, especially at the weekend.”
She said the firm had no plans on whether to sell the mall: “We have not thought that far ahead – the plan at the moment is to get it running.”
Shops that opened yesterday include Superdry, H&M and Jamie Oliver’s new restaurant, Barbecoa. Just over three-quarters (82 per cent) of the shops opened for business yesterday.
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Land Securities first obtained planning permission for the shopping centre in 2003.
The three-storey building, nicknamed the Stealth Bomber, also contains office space and a rooftop terrace, which opens in November