please empty your brain below

I have only ever been to Brent Cross once and that was a few months after it opened, and it was a nightmare, we spent twenty minutes looking for an empty parking space, the centre itself was dull and uninteresting and after an hour we left having spent no money in any shops at all, It then took another twenty minutes to get out of the car park again which resulted in my other half and I having a blazing row in the car on the way home and I swore that I would never go back again, and I never did.

On Pattaya beach road they have opened three such places ( not as huge as B.C ) and there's nobody in any of them.

Even in these tough financial times, the mall experience remains an attractive family day out

To whose family?

To an awful lot of families, from what I saw.

Not everyone goes to parks, garden centres and museums at the weekend. There's a heck of a lot of folk out there whose idea of a good time is a multi-storey car park, a trip round Toys R Us and a KFC Bargain Bucket.

I find Brent Cross pretty easy shopping.. can generally get a decent parking space, its small enough to dash from one end to the other, and has most shops I need (the rest are covered by the local retail parks). I went 10 days ago, and got quite wistful that it was more than likely the last time I would ever visit with Westfield opening (Living in Shepherds Bush, it would be stupid for me to drive to Brent Cross!)

Of course, it won't just be Brent Cross that is affected by the credit crunch and the new Westfield development. What about Lakeside, Bluewater or the Harlequin Centre? Why should shoppers go to Essex, Kent or Hertfordshire when there's now a big retail complex on the cusp of the congestion charge zone? Why, indeed, brave the elements in Oxford Street or Regent Street when you can now do your shopping in a nice, centrally-heated and covered shopping centre just a few tube stops away?

I bet there are more than a few retailers in and around London who are worried about how the new Westfield Shopping Centre will affect their business. Of course, they have most probably already taken a huge beating thanks to the credit crunch, and this could take them to breaking point.

I guess we'll just have to see what happens in due course...

I was walking around the site today… just a little bit of work left to do… I suspect come Thursday the centre will open more than a few unfinished bits… the car park entrance is so complex it is a forest of traffic lights… but the roads will be grid locked anyway - so no change there from the last 24 months…

My special highlight was the AA direction a sign pointing straight into the southern bus station… I wonder how long it will be before someone realises and has it taken down…

I don't find Brent Cross too unpleasant as such places go (Thurrock Lakeside, a more recent developemnt on a larger scale, however, is hell on earth).

Still, if it is affected adversely by Westfield, there'd be a certain sort of rough justice, given how the opening of Brent Corss completely decimated the commercial potential of the main shopping streets of areas nearby - above all Neasden and Hendon

I went to Brent Cross with my grandparents soon after it opened and one of my baby teeth fell out in a department store. Now Westfield's opening it's probably about time for my adult teeth to start falling out.

Oh, and we had trouble with the car parks as well.

Apart from an excess of shops in the area, and an expected downturn in sales at nearby towns centres. What about the cinemas.
A few years ago an extra floor was added to the existing Shepherds Bush Centre to create an indoor shopping Mall with 12 cinemas operated by Warner,( they are now owned by Vue cinemas.)
So there are 12 cinema screens already in Shepherds Bush, and there is also the Electric Cinema in Portobello Road, the Gate Cinema and the Coronet (2 screens) just up the road in Notting Hill.
The new Westfield Mall will have 14 screens.
So within a short distance the people of Shepherds Bush will have 30 cinemas screens. Will they all survive? I doubt it.

Always had a soft spot for Brent Cross.
Venichka is right about Lakeside, however - it's a shitheap.

I love all shopping centres and always will. Hah! How's that for controversial?

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