In addition to many small individual  
 general-purpose stores there are  four
 shopping centres which serve the area.
 Merry Oak,Thornhill and Harefield     
 provide some specialist and service   
 shops. Bitterne (the largest centre), 
 a pedestrian-only area since the      
 opening of the by-pass early in 1985, 
 provides two supermarkets and many    
 specialist shops(e.g.butchers)as well 
 as banks and building societies       
 allowing ready access to cash and     
 saving facilities.It also provides    
 service industries(e.g.hairdressers   
 and "fast food" shops).Customers must 
 travel some distance to reach a       
 hypermarket;or to the City Centre to  
 purchase goods other than food.As     
 mobility improves the four centres are
 declining in popularity and are now   
 used mainly by those who through a    
 variety of reasons must shop locally .

Map of the area

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