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TAKE a last look around, West Londoners. Only a week to go now until you're hit by the retail equivalent of the neutron bomb, leaving your area physically intact but destroying all organic shopping life within a five-mile radius.
The epicentre is the new Westfield mall at Shepherd's Bush, as big as Bluewater and the third largest in Britain. When it opens next Thursday it will have 265 shops, 50 restaurants, 1.6million square feet of retail and 4,500 lovely car parking spaces. But unlike all the other giants, this one is in the middle of a city.
It was trumpeted as the super-mall that would revolutionise the face of retailing in the capital and smash the monopoly of the West End. When Westfield London opened amid great hype in October last year, some two million shoppers flocked to the £1.7 billion development in Shepherd's Bush in its first three weeks and footfall in Oxford Street initially fell by a dramatic 20 per cent.