NEW YORK — The retail sector in lower Manhattan will soon feel the effects of Tuesday’s terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. The destruction of the gigantic complex included its retail component, the 427,000 sq. ft. Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center, which was located beneath the twin towers. The shopping center, comprised of 75 specialty stores, restaurants and service retailers, attracted approximately 150,000 visitors daily.
"It could be difficult for retailers to find other locations in Manhattan that would draw as much customer traffic as the once-bustling center," observed Amy Merrick and Teri Agins, staff reporters for The Wall Street Journal. The reporters spoke with Ann Binkley, a spokesperson for one of the mall’s major tenants, Borders, which operated a three-level, 40,000 sq. ft. bookstore — one of the center's larger locations — in the World Trade Center. "We aren’t even talking about what we’re going to do about that location," Binkley said.
Other retailers of Westfield Shoppingtown World Trade Center included Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, The Children’s Place, Coach, Cole Haan, Crabtree & Evelyn, Duane Reade, Express, Gap, J. Crew, Lechter’s, Lynn’s Hallmark, RadioShack, Sam Goody, Sephora, Structure, Tourneau, Warner Bros. Studio Store and Verizon Wireless.
The mall had one of the highest producing sales volumes in America with totals in excess of $900 per sq. ft., according to Los Angeles-based Westfield America Inc., which along with New York-based Silverstein Properties Inc. completed a $3.2 billion deal for a 99-year lease of the complex in July.