Monday, October 11, 2010

Spoilt for choice

In response to my item about Ociopia my Spanish neighbour says:

I don't totally agree with you Keith, the problem about Ociopia mall for us, its just that there are so many great ones so near from us (such as the ones in Murcia,Torrevieja or Elche) with so many more and varied shops. I think Ociopia cant compete against them and not at all in this crisis moment.

That is a very good and valid point.  There are better places to shop in the area than Ociopia.  Pam and I haven’t been to the mall in Elche but we have been to the one in Murcia and the one in Torrevieja both of which have a far better range of shops than Ociopia.

However, I would still argue that none of these can compete with places like the Trafford Centre near Manchester in terms of size and sheer volume of shoppers. Seven days a week from early opening to closing, the Trafford Centre is busy. During the Christmas period it will be open 24 hours a day and finding a space in the 10,000 capacity car park will be a nightmare. Even the coach park with its 350 spaces will be full. Over thirty million people a year visit it – an average of half a million a week.

From what I have seen, the malls in this area only seem to be busy at night and on Saturdays. The rest of the week you can have the places all to yourself. I don’t have statistics for the centres in Elche and Murcia but I would be surprised if they exceed those for the Trafford Centre. Having said all that, I am not a great fan of shopping malls. They all seem to mainly cater for young people, especially women. Give me city centre shopping any day at least there is fresh air, architecture to admire and more shops for men.

NB The Trafford Centre at 118,766 square metres is only the sixth largest shopping centre in Britain. Larger ones are the Metro Centre near Gateshead – a whopping 195,000 square metres in size, Bluewater in Kent at 155,700, Westfield Merry Hill near Dudley at 154,002, Westfield London at Shepherds Bush – 149,461 and Meadowhall Sheffield at 139,555. However, the largest shopping area in England is still the West End, London which has 608,000 square metres of retail space on three streets.

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