Frank Lowy and John Saunders were two post-war immigrants who initially set up a delicatessen business together in Blacktown in the 1950s. They catered primarily for European immigrants like themselves . They moved on to property development and opened their first ‘American-style’ shopping centre, Westfield Place, with two department stores, a supermarket and 12 shops built around a courtyard. It provided 50 free on-site parking spaces.>Westfield timeline
The original centre was named because of its location in Sydney’s western suburbs and because of the former rural nature of the surroundings. In the 1960s, Westfield listed on the stock exchange and opened more stores around Sydney, expanding into Victoria and Queensland.
In 1966, the new centre opened in Burwood was the first to carry the Westfield logo. Dubbed ‘Shoppingtown’, it was the first shopping centre in New South Wales to incorporate a major department store. The first centre in Queensland, at Toombul, followed in 1967, with Doncaster Shoppingtown opening in Melbourne in
In the 70s, the company made its first move into USA. International expansion continued, with the group eventually owning properties around the world. By 2004 it was the largest retail property group in the world.
In 2014 the group split into two new, independent companies – Scentre Group, which owns and operates the Australian and New Zealand shopping centre portfolio, and Westfield Corporation which owns and operates the UK, Europe and US portfolio.