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Tuesday 31 December 2002
Trafford Centre - shopping hell or heaven?
Inside the Trafford Centre
Heaven or hell? the Trafford Centre
Love it or hate it, you have to admit the Trafford Centre has made a massive impact on Manchester.

But is it a spiritual place?
info
The Trafford Centre has:
1.4 million sq ft retail space
280 shops
10,000 free car parking spaces
35 restaurants
a 20-screen cinema
see also
Have Your Say

From BBC News: Shoppers flood to early sales
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Trafford Centre
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With 280 shops, 35 restaurants and even a cinema, it's like a whole town under one roof.

Thousands upon thousands of people love it, travelling from all over the North of England. One group of shoppers even flew in from Reykjavik.

Last Christmas, The Trafford Centre even opened on Boxing Day.
From BBC News: Shoppers flood to early sales

To some it's a cathedral of the consumer. With its free parking, weather-free walkways, smooth marble floors and dozens of designer outlets, it's a shoppers' heaven.

To others, it's a vision of hell. They despise its fake palms, neo-classical pillars, and vast presence of Manchester's retail horizon. And it snarls up the traffic on the M60.

Trafford Centre - Love it or hate it? Do you get a buzz out of shopping? Is it spiritually uplifting? Or does retail therapy leave you feeling empty?

This discussion has now closed - however you can continue to chat via our Message board.


From John Email in Sale Manchester
Trafford Centre is a great place to go shopping it has a selection of different shops. The only down thing about the Trafford Centre is overcrowded especially on school holidays and saturdays full of young annoying kids, but thats not expected all in all its great.

From - jane in Australia
LOV'It everything thing about it,clean all great designer labels and i am from sydney Australia and can defintelty say it is the best shopping centre in the world!I love England i stayed there for 4 months and sadly i had to come home but i had the best time in england! thankyou POMS U ROCK!

From Rebecca in Burnage
The Trafford Centre is a ghastly place. It is full of tedious show-offs. One gets so irritated! It doesn't stay open very late, is badly designed and everything is too expensive. The only thing I ever take home is a headache.

From Calvin in Swinton Manchester
A illogical design. Confusing and stressing. Its wonderful though.. So many shops so little time.

From V from Lowton
I used to work near the Trafford Centre and the traffic caused by this shopping centre was a nightmare. However I enjoy visiting the Trafford Centre, the free parking whilst I shop, visit the cinema or whatever is great. Local towns affected by the Trafford Centre should think twice before they charge extortionate fees for parking. Wigan Council charge heavy fees. When shopping at the centre I can choose what I do and not have to worry about how long I am staying and whether my parking fee has run out. All in all it is a very good centre and I hope it stays that way.

From Shelly in A-in-M/Wigan/UK
Scott Perez, you should be ashamed of yourself. I live in between Liverpool and Manchester so I am nuetral. On a recent charity event we raised vurtually all our money in Liverpool and almost non in Manchester. Salford is full of smack heads and car theives, I'd rather go to Liverpool any day. the centre isn't OTT, the Mall America in Minneaplois is the same distance round again, another two floors on top and has a theme park in the middle, now thats a shpooing centre!

From LOU in Davyhulme MANCHESTER
d Trafford Centre is d bst it is easy 2 get 2 coz i only live in Davyhulme. d shops are great and d cinema is even better. d tc iz always clean and tidy and d gud thing bout it iz u r not aloud 2 smoke like at Stretford

From Julie N Stephin in Eccles
I think the trafford centre is one of the best shopping malls around here. Where else can u go 4 a good shop? Eccles, Bolton, Manchester? Dont think so. Trafford has everyrthing all under 1 roof.

From rania in manchester
the trafford centre is good for shopping cz there are many designer shops but the thing i hate about it is working on SUNDAYS - its jam packed.

From lewis hayes in wigan manchester england
it is a world of dreams and is the best one out of lakeside in essex and lakeside in kent and the worst of trafford center is the is no train station

From Simon Parson in Wigan
Ithink it will depend what time of day you go if children were at school and people at work the trafford centre would be quite quiet. But from 5.30 and at weekends and school holidays the trafford centre can be maham and very cahotic with children messing about and people rushing because of there busy lifestyle, the ques can be massive and also the motorways can be mayhem

From THERESA in WOLVERHAMPTON
I THINK THAT TRAFFORD CENTRE IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST SHOPPING CENTRES AND ONE OF THE CLEANEST THAT I'VE EVER BEEN. IT'S MASSIVE AND IT'S GOT ALL THE KIND OF SHOPS THERE. ITS ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS.

From Clur in Manchester
go get a life guys!!!its only a shoppin centre!!

From Charlotte in Sale, Manchester
I think the traffod centre is teh best thing ever i got at least 3 times a week either with my mates shopping or cinema. I love going there becasue itsall you could ever want in one place, even a sunbed. So all you peopel who disagree live life a bit more!!!!!

From Amy
I have to admit its convenient, easy to get to if you drive, open late free parking clean and dry, But there is absolutley no atmosphere its so sterile and contrived, and its so busy at weekends and christmas that I refuse to go there unless its midweek. I much prefer Manchester City Centre for shopping eating and going out, and I would reccommend that anyone willing to travel that far should avoid the TC and head straight for town.

From Howard Bell, washington,d.c
i think that trafford centre is a beautiful place to be i have just stayed for two weeks in my aunties apartment i have visited the trafford centre i can honestly say there are no malls in washington that can compare to this one.

From mohsin
the trafford centre sucks its rubbish

From Biggy, Blackburn
Trafford centre is a top place to be its just wicked.

From Anton Schultz in Chorlton
I hate the place, although out of town shopping centres may be great for the wealthy to spend their money, they are only accessible by car or bus (a bad thing considering many of us don't have cars and their effect on air polution, road safety, global warming etc..). They are also bad for our communities as they make it difficult for local shops to compete, forcing us towards a more divided, unfair society. We should support our local shops, and get up and try walking for a change. Rows and rows of similar shops selling similar clothes, neon lights and traffic Jams. My idea of hell.

From SAJID PATEL
TRAFFORD IS TOP. CHEAP N A FUN PLACE 2 GO

From Georgina in Mexico, City
I love it when I was there in September. The nautic shop is just great, I wish I could bring home many things from there. My daughter and my son in law work there. I shopped really comfortable.

From LAF in blackburn
Who ever doesnt like the Trafford Centre are just pure sad!!!The smell must be lingering around you seeing as ur the only ones who can smell it

From Kaz in Eccles
It kills my feet, it gives me a headache, it stresses me out, it's too warm, too noisy, shops are too expensive, too busy at weekends, it's too far to walk, would love a Primark in there or a Woollies, the food is crap in the Orient.....but I still go every Thursday!!!!

From john in manchester
Hell on Earth-nothing would get me to go again.

From Tom Hall in Brooklands
i love the trafford centre, it makes my life complete

From David in Salford
The building is a hideous monstrosity - were the architects on drugs? It pretends to be something is most certainly is not - a neo-classical building. It is simply a shed by a sewage works. Manchester city centre is infinitely preferable, even if just for the fresh air and wonderful Victorian architecture.

From charlie
I think you should all get a life, its only shopping!

From SOBIA, LONDON
TRAFFORD CENTRE IS GD

From Jenni in wilmslow, cheshire
the trafford centre is bad. I always come out of there with my feet killing, theres something up with the floor! Like the shops are good, but it aint a patch on manchester town!

From Scott Perez in salford
The Trafford Centre is quality, bringing many welcomed jobs to the north west. Only problem is that its full of Scousers.

From Gillian Hilton, Davyhulme, M/cr
I live in Davyhulme, and the Trafford centre traffic HAS made normal shopping on a saturday very difficult. I do love the centre itself though, but I do walk there - as the car journey is a nightmare. Maybe a motorway junction of its own would help - not to mention drivers actually getting in their correct lane's right away - and not carving everyone up in the process. Apart from that - LOVE IT!

From CAT, CHORLEY
I LOVE THE TRAFFORD CENTRE!!!!!! AS LONG AS YOU HAVE MONEY TO SPEND, ITS A GREAT PLACE TO GO!!!! DESIGNER SHOPS, CAFE'S, RESTAURANTS, PUBS, CINEMA AND EVEN A FUN FAIR FOR THE KIDS!!!!!!!! EVERYTHING UNDER ONE BIG ROOF!!! FREE PARKING TOO!! ITS BRILLIANT!!!

From Chris Williams, Norwich
I used to live in Davyhulme which is the other side of the M60 to the Trafford centre. I now live in Norfolk. What the hell are you people moaning for, you do not know how much you miss a place like the trafford centre until you move away. Where i live now shopping is rubbish, Manchester people dont realise how lucky they are having such a wonderfull facility on your door step! The Trafford Centre and re-development of the city centre has helped peoples opinons change and realise that Manchester is not the dirty disgusting city which southerners think it is, but a modern city full of life and the best people on earth! In my opinion Manchester is one hundred times better than London! and its time people realised it. No wonder manchester got its bad name because people dont want to change. I lone manchester and im moving back in the summer, thank god!!!!!!

From Brenda, Sale
It demonstrates how much we needed to create a cathedral to the modern god of consumerism.

From Steve in Westhoughton
Free parking thats the reason its a winner. I will not shop in Bolton town centre anymore with the councils o.t.t. parking fees. The Trafford centre is worth the journey for my family, and I have never been stuck in a traffic jam going, no more that I do going anywere else around our moterway network these days.

From Ben Jenkins, Birmingham
Its a nice looking shopping centre, very simular in size and look to the Merry Hill centre. Although it will take people out of the city, which is not a good thing. They should have built it on a smaller scale in manchester city, just like there doing in Birmingham with the Bullring.

From jenna bainbrdge, cumbria
i think that the trafford centre is a brillant place to go shopping but because i live awhile away i cant just go all the time so when i go i make the most of all the shops. I think that there is alot of choice and it is easy to get around the only problem is that the shops are quite small it depends where abouts they are but alot seem to be crowed on a weekend and hard to get in. But over all Trafford centre is a great day out shoppong.

From David Martin in Manchester
It's certainly an amazing place, yet another thing putting Manchester on the map. Better still the competition has given the city centre a much-needed kick up the jacksy, clearly evident from changes there since TC opened. Maybe the council will provide some free parking in the CC before long?

From Louise Mowat in Australia
I used to live in Urmston until 2000. I loved the Trafford Centre with all it's wonderful facilities and to be truthful it did me no end of good when it came to selling the house! I would love to have a wonderful facility like the Trafford Centre in Victoria, Australia. Enjoy your shopping!

From Paul in Tampa, Florida
I live in florida, but I did live on the Wimpy estate next to the TC until 2001 and regularly used the TC.Yes it gets busy and yes the roads get congested but no one can convince me that it is worse than the poor quality shops you get in the local town centers such as Urmston, Stretford or Altrincham.Furthermore take a good look at good old Manchester city center, a Victorian dustbin, as a mancunian I would be ashamed to use what was once a proud victorian center fallen into ruin as an example of all things good it certainly is not a good advert for the area. There are no Malls that I have found here in the USA that can compete on size although the concept of under one roof shopping I believe is american. Unfortunately as an expat I find people in britain can be small minded and afraid of change. Wake up the world has changed and stop bleating and get on with your lifes.

From Mark in Worsley,
Why is everyone against the Trafford Centre?? C'mon I live nearby (Worsley, previously Eccles)and the traffic is not that bad. I have never been really stuck for a parking space, even at the weekend. The Trafford Centre has proved much more a pleasant shopping experience than Manchester city centre.

From Steve Bates in Manchester
The Trafford Centre is positioned badly, right on an already overcrowded M60. It needs the metrolink extended to it's door, as the bus from Stretford takes forever as it still has to sit in the traffic caused by the car drivers trying to get in. It is though a fantastic building, much care seems to have been taken in the interior design, just look up at the shop no.s etc. Why does it think people want to shop until 10pm. Some people must be very sad if they still can't stop shopping when people are starting to go to bed. But to sum up, it has done wonders for Manchester and is ideal on a wet cold winters day, but I am sorry, until they sort the major traffic problems and improve public transport, I'm afraid you cannot beet going into Manchester City Centre to shop, if only to window shop & look round at the great architecture that is Manchester.

From Dave S In Manchester
The Trafford Centre to me means nothing but it does impact my life in a big way, i`ll explain. I have been married now for 7 months. Life for me has been great. No arguments, no stress and no one hassling me about tidying up the house.........When my wife finally leaves the Trafford Centre i`m sure it`ll all start though !!!!!!!!

From Dave in Roe Green, Worsley
Awful.... Whoever designed the trafford centre needs to look at exactly what they have created. It is nothing but the Arndale centre moved to dumplington, nothing special design is cheap and relates to nothing about manchester. Who really wants to be American anyway, there is not one little reference to it even being in Manchester. The only thing it does achieve is traffic conjestion at the weekend and an unsightly blot on the landscape. I would prefer t to be replaced bya couple of pallate factories any day. If you want to shop, go to your local village / town centre not this hideous, claustrophobic, capitalistic mind washing corridor they think was a good idea? just what good has it done for Mancheter, apart from helping you not get your hair wet. Has anyone ever heard of an umbrella? get outside and feel the rain on your face and someone knock it down.

From Keasha in Moss Side
like the trafford centre i dont no y there r 2 maccy d's i like the bus shellter but i think the buses should run longer than 6 or 7 there should be more cloths and jewerly shops

From vanessa, sale, manchester
i think it is the best multicomplex shopping centre in europe there is everything for any type of person.

From Michael Walne, Ashton-under-Lyne
I would not like to go to the trafford Centre. Without prejudice to the trafford centre it is built more like Church, and taking away business from all over the origanal Town Centres.

From Iz in Manchester
it's too busy when i have time to go. whoever placed it there should be shot! - was obviously going to cause major traffic congestion. free parking is worth nothing if you have to queue for ages to get in/out. it's much easier, quicker and cheaper to go to manchester or stockport by local transport.

From Carolyn Harris in Houston, Texas, USA
I'm originally from Manchester, now living in Houston, Texas. In June 2002 my two young daughters and I visited my parents in Manchester and my brother took us to the Trafford Center. We were told the design was based on American malls, but we haven't seen any like that here! We loved it, especially the eating area with the big TV. Of course, we don't live there and don't have to worry about the traffic, etc., and we also went mid-week. But for us it was different and we enjoyed our visit.

From John in Stretford
good but the traffic problems on the surrounding roads need addressing also a metrolink/rail access would be a good idea.

From D. Johnson Nr. Stockport
Two hours and twenty five minutes stationary trying to leave a car park is not compensated by the convenience of many shops in one location. Local shopping is much more fun and quicker, more convenient and environmentally more acceptable.

From lisa in salford
the trafford centre is an OTT building that looks awful , has awful shops and is filled with people who seem to think that labels equal style. Although the arndale isn't the most glamorous of places, I'd rather go there than the trafford centre

From Sheri in Australia
We are English and live in eastern Australia and when in England we like to visit the Trafford Centre we think it is excellant. People here in Australia can't believe the facilities all under one roof - like they say " if you don't like - don't go

From Cilson in Brazil
I have lived in Manchester for one year. I always went to the Trafford Centre. I think the Trafford Centre is a beautiful place, the stores, the cinema, the restaurant area, the decoration, the people ... If you want to buy anything, go to Trafford Centre, if you want just to go out, go to the Trafford Centre.

From MacMummy in Shetland Isles
Its a shopping centre! no need to bust a nut over it!

From Ian A in Chorlton, Manchester
I think the Trafford Centre is a nice building and its good that it is out of town and hopefully the free parking reduces traffic in Manchester city centre. I find the shops to expensive so I tend to shop in Stockport or Manchester mainly but I do like to go the Trafford Centre for a change. As for the closed down shops from what I can tell the Trafford Centre has been good for the local economy - just think how many jobs it creates. Also people travel from all over the country to visit the Trafford Centre this extra money which Greater Manchester wound't normally get. I also like the no smoking rule as people seem to stick to it. In the Arndale in Manchester people still smoke even though that is now a smoking free zone. I think the Trafford Centre has changed shopping in the North West for good. Well Done!

From Michael in Wigan
We have lived in the UK for 4 years & often went to the Trafford Centre, whether to shop, have a meal or go to a movie. Unfortunately we no longer feel safe going there in the evenings as it is crowded by groups of young teenage kids with nothing better to do than cause trouble. Our last visit (probably a year ago now), we tried to get out of the doors whilst police & guards tried to stop fighting kids trying to get into the centre. We now stay away completely.

From Clare in Stockport
You can't knock the free parking part - you can spend the whole day shopping then go to one of the pubs, restauruants or the cinema at night, and you don't have to worry about parking tickets from the council or a hefty fee from NCP!! Stockport is more convenient for me, but if I'm buying something special it's got to be the Trafford Centre EXCEPT AT WEEKENDS...

From Ian, Manchester
I agree with Stuart Hall, Salford. I too say "... if you do not like the Trafford Centre - THEN DON'T GO." In fact, I urge everyone to start shopping locally; that is if your local shopping centre hasn't already closed due to the swarms of 'shoppers' who insist on driving to 'Dumplington - next to Eccles Sewage Works'. Vote with your feet and say 'NO' to the Tragic Centre. Ian, Didsbury.

From Stuart Hall, Salford
I cannot get my head around all these comments, if you do not like the Trafford Centre - THEN DON'T GO. I think the centre is fantasic for shopping and entertainment, you can have a drink, meal and then enjoy a film or shop. Well done the Trafford Centre.

From David Titheridge, Manchester
Why should a shopping centre be allowed to close down the orbital M60 Motorway, often at peak times, if a member of the public blocked the motorway, they would be swiftly dealt with by the relevant powers, however it is routinely accepted that the Trafford Centre will cause the network to grind to a halt and nothing is done about it. The place should not have been granted planning permission without the tram line being extended to it. Parking charges should apply like the rest of Gtr Manchester.

From John, Altrincham
I've only been once since it opened. Yes its popular and has free parking but the access roads and the motorway are always blocked. Local towns have also suffered. Many shops are now boarded up and the council think its fair to charge for parking. NO WONDER TRAFFORD COUNCIL WENT FROM HERO TO ZERO.

From Andrew Clarke, Manchester
The local area around the Trafford Centre becomes one huge traffic jam at sales time or busy weekend shopping. The whole access mess should be sorted out soon. The present system is utterly useless with three mile tailbacks on the motorway and the local roads blocked. Having the centre on your door step is fine in principle until you actually want to get anywhere. As more people use the roads for Utd and City Matches, Cricket, Rush hour and shopping, the whole of south manchester is becoming gridlocked.

From Neil, Bolton
Again Its Another Out of town shopping center with one problem, no adequate access, i know its next to the motor way but still if you go down there on a saturday or sunday you can que for miles which must affect other businesses in the trafford area, all in all its a great place for bargains it just needs to try some traffic calming measures.

From ZOE,
I THINK TRAFFORD CENTER IS GOOD FOR BARGAINS BUT NOT NEAR CHRISTMAS OR IN THE SALES OR A SUNDAY!

From Angela Smith, UK
The Trafford Centre is great for entertainment but the Shopping is not so great. Small stores, large queues, not only to pay but for trying on the clothes. Manchester City Centre is far better, it as more choice.

From Vicky, Stockport
The Trafford Centre is my idea of absolute hell. It's stuffy, hot, noisy, busy and makes the M60 even more of a nightmare than it already is. I'd rather go into Manchester or Stockport or indeed anywhere but there. I can't believe that people are so sad as to queue up on Boxing Day for the doors to open at 7.00am.. And those who travel from all over the country - it's a shopping centre for gods sake - get a life!!

From ali, uk-manchester
I got to agreee! it does stink round that area, and it is always packed out, BUT NONE THE LESS, Its still better than ur corner shop.

From Sunil, Manchester
I used to like it, till this awaful smell started appearing, then i found out it was built near a sewafe works!! rejected land or what! Anyway its too packed out, you cant shop comfterbly. And yeh Manchester city centre is way way better, more like home.

From Jonathan Walters, Manchester
It is a terrible place, the shops are small, the air conditioning is suffocating, it is always crowded and it taked forever to get to because of the traffic jams. Why do people go, I just don't understand. Give me Manchester city centre anyday - bigger shops, more variety, fresh air and decent places to eat.

From Anne Ring in Lowton, Warrington
It's wonderful, shopping in the warmth and every store you require. Just need to visit mid-week which fortunately I can do

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