Westfield Valencia adapts to pandemic shopping shifts

Shoppers in the Westfield Valencia Town Center on Wednesday, June 10, 2020. Dan Watson/The Signal

As the pandemic forced many businesses to shut their doors, altogether changing consumers’ shopping habits, retailers have had to find ways to adapt.

Through the pandemic, a number of larger brands have announced the closure of their retail stores across the nation, such as the Disney Store, J.C. Penney and Gap.

However, in the midst of those closures, a number of other stores have opened new locations, including locally at the Westfield Valencia Town Center.

Among the stores recently opening at Westfield Valencia are Windsor, a contemporary apparel and accessory boutique, and Undisputed Sole, a sneaker consignment store.

And arriving later this fall just in time for holiday shopping is popular lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters, as well as Crab N Spice, a seafood restaurant.

“Westfield Valencia’s recent dining and retail openings are great examples of the center’s merchandise mix and enhanced amenities and conveniences,” said Maral Matossian, general manager of Westfield Valencia. “Together, they demonstrate how the center is a place where all our guests’ senses, interests and needs are fully catered to and fulfilled.”

Moreover, the center has broadened its repertoire of tenants, such as leasing space to Innovation Show Choir, a community-based youth performing ensemble, which they plan to use as a rehearsal space.

Medical offices are also quickly becoming integrated into the retail center experience, with the forthcoming addition of Town Center Dental Arts, which is set to offer dental care for patients and guests.

“We continue to evolve our centers to offer our customers everything they need in a given market,” Matossian said. “Our vision is to constantly refresh and customize the offerings available — clearly defining our center’s unique value proposition to the communities we serve.”

Evolving to a post-pandemic world

After being shuttered for three months in the midst of the pandemic, Westfield Valencia reopened in June 2020 and has since continued efforts to enhance the overall customer experience while also caring for its retailers, according to Matossian. 

“Westfield has had its finger on the pulse on redefining what retail means in the modern world even before the pandemic,” Matossian said.

In 2019, Westfield Valencia underwent an extensive interior renovation that connected it to the outdoor shopping districts, The Patios, and Town Center Drive.

“Elevated in-store experiences and personalized guest services are crucial to moving forward in a post-pandemic world,” Matossian added, highlighting Westfield’s “Dining Al Fresco” program, which allowed retailers to continue operations outdoors in the height of COVID-19, as well as contactless amenities introduced to the center.

Among those amenities was a curbside concierge program to accommodate shoppers who prefer to buy online and pick up in-store, along with Line Pass, a digital queuing technology and appointment service to help manage a store’s capacity.

“Last year, the center also launched capacity monitoring, which offered guests the ability to view real-time shopper activity on center websites so shoppers can plan their trip when they are most comfortable,” Matossian added.

Westfield Valencia also continues to host family-friendly and charitable events, such as the Hello Sunshine summer block party, which featured outdoor games, live music, and retailer giveaways and prizes.

“As we begin to move towards a post-pandemic world, we are evolving to stay aligned with shifting consumer needs, including continuing to invest in outdoor and diversified retail opportunities,” Matossian said. “Our center is designed to serve as a place for the local community to gather. … By staying nimble and providing our guests with the right experiences, our destination will surely continue to thrive.”

For more information, visit westfield.com/valencia. 

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