London shoppers flocked to the opening of Europe’s largest inner-city shopping centre yesterday as retailers’ fears of impending recession were banished for one day at least.

The Westfield London shopping centre in Shepherds Bush was launched yesterday by Boris Johnson, the London mayor, with a lavish party thrown by the developer.

By late afternoon the centre had welcomed an estimated 100,000 shoppers, and crowds were still growing by the hour. Many seemed intent on simply wandering the gently curving halls of the £1.7bn development, however, rather than emptying their wallets in one of its 280 shops and 50 eateries.

Financial Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph