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Twenty years on The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, Bristol

Opening on 31 March 1998, The Mall was the first major regional shopping centre in the West Country and welcomed 120,000 visitors in its first weekend alone

Cribbs Causeway still managed to attract the crowds – 330,000 in the first week of trading.’ This was the opening paragraph of Shopping Centre’s coverage of The Mall’s opening on 31 March 1998. The article also claimed that then


development director at Prudential, Graham Maskell and Ian Cawley of co-developer, JT Baylis had appeared on TV and radio more times in 24 hours than Wogan and Edmunds in a month. Not much of a surprise considering it was the first major regional shopping centre - comprising 725,000 sq ft and 130 units - to open in the West Country. Anchor John Lewis had taken a 230,000-sq ft unit, along with a

145,000-sq ft M&S and smaller anchors Bhs, Boots and WH Smith. There were 16 restaurants and cafes, 7,000 car parking spaces and

25 retailers new to the South West. At the time of opening, there was only one vacant unit and the

scheme had already doubled in value – from a £200m development cost to around £400m. By 2010 footfall had reached 12.6m, with the catchment stretching

from Exeter to Worcester and beyond. Current tenants include Apple, Radley, Hotel Chocolat, Kurt Geiger,

Paperchase, Goldsmiths, Jessops and Build-A-Bear Workshop. The 20 restaurants hold Nando’s, Frankie & Benny’s, Bella Italia, TGI

ertainly not with a whimper, yet far from a massive bang, the promised low-key opening of The Mall at

Fridays, Yo! Sushi, Carluccio’s and Cafe Rouge, among others. There is also a Vue cinema, Fitness First

gym, Premier Inn hotel and crèche. Shoppers can also make use of a personal shopper, read the centre’s blog and visit the bi-annual Bristol Fashion Week shows complete with celebrity hosts, canapés and champagne. Commercial director Jon Edwards has

been at the centre for 11 years. He outlined some of the changes, both to the centre and the industry as a whole. “The Mall Cribbs Causeway was one of

the last regional centres to open,” he said. “Since the opening in 1998 casual dining has changed and moved away from the foodcourt format prompting us to redevelop our food service three years ago. “It’s a huge revolution – people go out to eat more than they did 10-

15 years ago. And it’s more experiential, the whole shopping experience isn’t purely transactional anymore.” He thinks the centre is performing much more as one big brand and

that the move to experiential is something to focus on. “We will continue to build on our strengths and understand exactly

what consumers want as well as working on our sales strategy and tenant mix, broadening our offer and bringing in innovative retailers with excellent customer service and shopfits.”

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September 1998

November 1998

October 1998

January 1999

145,000 visitors passed through the doors to the £600m centre on the first day

The 1.3m sq ft Trafford Centre, Manchester, opened to acclaim on September 10.

The 02 on London’s Finchley Road, opened. It was hailed as “the dawn of a new era in the approach to integrating retail and leisure in an urban location”


Liffey Valley shopping centre opened on the outskirts of Dublin

The 250,000 sq ft

plans for its £200m Touchwood town centre retail and leisure scheme in Solihull, West Midlands.

John Prescott approved Lend Lease’s

20 YEARS Leading the industry for

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