please empty your brain below

This is the future, I'm afraid. On the plus side, Hong Kong still does OK for shopping arcades crammed full of tiny, booth-like shops and restaurants, so clearly the juggernauts don't kill everything. Sometimes you just want to go to a shop, not have an 'experience'.

HK's newest, shiniest mall is Elements and is owned by the MTR corporation, the state-subsidised local equivalent of the London Underground. Maybe TfL should get in on this retail and property development lark.

I live in Brisbane and we have a couple of these huge Westfield malls close by, very bland, same shops in all of them. The only pro is they're good to get out of the heat and into aircon to cool down!

You didnt buy trousers then?

I went there on Thursday morning and watched Boris Johnson officially open the place.
It took me about an hour to walk around the new “Temple of mammon” These shopping malls are of no interest to me, apart from a once only look over just to say I've been. They seem to be full of jewellery and ladies clothing retailers. The eating-places are all expensive.
I went out side and headed for a favourite haunt of mine, an old style cafe with “English food served here” displayed in the window, situated on the Goldhawk Road. A café I have been going to for about 40 years. It’s not far another old style café, in the same road but on the other side, Cooks pie and mash!.
Lets hope these old places remain as the gentrification of Shepherds Bush extends.

Reminds me of the 1970's....wait...weren't we subjected to dreadful economic conditions then as well?
Oh no, not flares again!

Yuck. I just do not understand the attraction.

It seems to me the people who like this sort of thing most are those with least money. Buy now pay later...

I wonder what it will look like in 10 years time? In need of revamping I'd guess.

if everyone wants to go to small shops, why are these shops still small. It's not really fair to make your son and nephew work for 50p an hour 100 hours a week just to keep the family business going is it? Hopefully the reasonably paid jobs in Westfield will encourage some of them into new employment.

Instead of 'slumming it' in Westfield.. Did I hear Boris say he was off to buy a suit?
The 'Mayor of London' should be have spent his time explaining to the 'local' traders why he is supporting exporting the profits out of London..

@Tom.. so it's the future is it? Just like we were told that deregulating the economy was the future.. Oh I see..

Plastic shopping.. in a plastic environment..

@IsarSteve: I think I was making a Leonard Cohen reference, though I only just noticed it myself.

We all need to 'do our bit' and Shop For England. In these tough economic times, we all have to help keep the HMS UK on an even keel by spending our way out of the recession.

Hang on, is that an iceberg up ahead..?

Westfield really does sound enormous, and I may have to make my way down there myself someday. However, like you, I am no good at shopping, so I'll probably just end up wandering around for a few hours looking at things I cannot afford or do not actually want to buy.

It does seem ironic though how Westfield, planned during an economic boom, has opened in the midst of the credit crunch and one of the worst financial crises in decades.

Interestingly, here in the US, there is a pronounced movement to open up shopping malls to the 'outside'. Now, instead of a single enclosed mega-mall, they've gone for more of an 'urban village' feel. Even in Seattle, with all it's rain, this has proven very popular. Having trees and sidewalks and outdoors interspersed with all the shopping makes it a less oppressive experience somehow.

I was there the same time as you DG.

I'm afraid I gave up after a short wander because there is virtually no signage at all and they had run out of maps. Surely it is reasonably foreseeable that hoardes of people will turn up on opening day and will ask for a map? If the centre owners can't be bothered to offer signage and a map then I can't be bothered to wander round their centre aimlessly.

Like you, much of the "retail offer" does not appeal to me so I won't be returning very quickly. I did buy a few bits and bobs in Waitrose but I normally shop with them anyway but on the other side of London.

It also struck me that much of the transport infrastructure had simply been shoehorned in to the space available. If there is real growth in demand then these stations may struggle in future years as they are hemmed in on all sides.


I'm another who was drawn there yesterday, just to see what it was all about.

As these cathedrals to consumerism go, I'd have to say it was pretty impressive.

Being more from the lost tribes of Lamorbey and Shirley territories, I guess you'd say that Bluewater and The Glades at Bromley are more my stamping ground, and it'd be unfair and untrue to say I have any disdain towards them: quite the opposite, in fact - I'd have to say they're good places to go.

Therefore, although I'm little more than a casual observer when it comes to, Westfield, I can't say I have any 'problems' with the place.

Actually, I find it interesting to note how some people saying the building doesn't seem suited to the local environment and its people.


Of late I've been spending a fair bit of time around my birthplace of Woolwich, gobsmacked by the way the area is changing. There's been massive investment in creating fresh housing in the brownfield Royal Arsenal site, plus further building along the river front and a real geuine effort to improve the area and make it look attractive.

Some of the efforts, however, seem destined to failure. You plant saplings and they get broken down within a month.

Which kind of raises an inevitable thought. Namely a reversal of the theory above. Ummm. That maybe it's the people that aren't suited to the buildings

I would rather go to the Olympic site than here.

It seems Westfield is still going to go next door to the Olympic site, it being Zone 1 of Stratford City - now rebadged Stratford 2011. Unfortunately for fellow Ozzie operators Bovis Lend Lease, they couldn't borrow what they needed as 'preferred partners' or some such for Zones 2-7, aka 'The Olympic Village' (which is now having to be "nationalised")

Princes square in Glasgow is the only shopping mall with any attraction for me. You should visit if you are up that way.A lovely conversion.

Ironic really that the Debenhams where I work opened yesterday with local news presenter Helen McDurmutt when in Shepards Bush their Debenhams was opened to hoardes of shoppers.

I bet ours is nice. More compact.

Westfield own the San Francisco Centre as well.

And I could've sworn the white hallway photo was taken from there.

Malls. Urgh.

Hmm. Morrisons in W12 was offering bad service in a crappy environment long before Westfield turned up, as was the Vue upstairs with its schizophrenic box office policy (shall we have people behind a screen? shall we just have machines? shall we turn all the machines off and force everyone to buy tickets at the sweets counter?).

Most of the things I used to do on Shepherd's Bush Green, I'd still be doing on the Green anyway if I were still there (buying a paper or a pint of milk, topping up my Oyster) cos it would take ages to walk into Westfield to do those little things. Shepherd's Bush was never a major shopping environment and the shops there serve a completely different market to Westfield.

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