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Last updated at 14:56 GMT, Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Shopping centres

Shopping Centre

What is the advantage of going to a big shopping centre?

Dan and Rob talk about shopping centres and compare shopping in a local high street and a shopping centre.

This week's question:

The Bullring in Birmingham is the UK's busiest shopping centre, but how many people, on average, visit the Bullring each year? Is it:

a) 27 million

b) 37 million

c) 47 million

Listen out for the answer at the end of the programme!


Shopping Centres

End of Section



Small shop that sells fashionable items

High street / main street

A street of a town where most of the shops are


A reduction in the price

A good deal

Here, a good price of something


Extremely large

Fast Food

Food which is prepared and served very quickly


Things which appeal to or designed for people with higher income


Things which appeal to or designed for people with lower income


Full of people or things

Your responses

The following comments on this topic were sent in by students from The Netherlands:

Dear BBC,

My name is Christos, I live in the Netherlands.

After listening to your program I decided to write you guys a letter and write about my favourite place to shop and what I prefer.

My favourite place to shop would be somewhere out of the city where I live. I prefer big shopping centres, because then there are more shops you can go to. I don’t really prefer upmarket venues or downmarket, it just depends how much money I can spend. But most of the time it’s between upmarket and downmarket venues.

The shopping centre in my town can be crowded, mostly during the weekend, but I don’t really mind that at all, I actually quite like that. In my opinion the best shop to go to when you’re looking for discounts or good deals, would be Saturn. A really good electronics shop where you can basically find anything for a good price.


Dear BBC,

I like big shoppig centres more then highstreets because I like to walk around and see more then just the shop where I have to be.

I dont really make a difference between up-market shops or down-market shops, i just buy at a shop where i like the product the most.

Most of the shopping centres in my neighbourhood are not really crowded, they are busy but not that you cannot move or walk properly.

I dont really know where i can find the best discounts because I dont go to the shopping centre very often, this is because the nearest shopping centre is quite a long drive with my bike.

Kind regards, Koen



I'm Sam

My favorite place to shop in The Netherlands is in the streets of Eindhoven.

There are a couple of streets in the Centre of the city with lots of different places to shop.

I prefer boutiques on a high street because in The Netherlands there aren’t many big shopping centers. And I like that there are many different stores too choose from.

I prefer upmarket venues because they have nicer things and the quality of the merchandise is much better.

Of course all the things are a little more expensive than in downmarket shops but I am willing to pay some extra for the good quality. Also the brands in the upmarket shops fit me and my personality better.

The shopping centres near me aren’t too crowded, only in the weekends and the holidays it’s busier but not too busy so you can do your own thing and go where you want.

You can go to different stores for discounts and deals for instance de Schoenen Fabriek (the shoe factory) always have big discounts and deals, sometimes they have discounts up to 60%-70%.

Many shops in the city have deals and discounts but that’s regularly period related.



My name is Emiel. I live in a city called Tilburg. I like to go shopping a couple of times per year.

My favorite place to shop is Re-issue and Woei. Those are small shops and I prefer the boutiques on the high street. I prefer the upmarket venues because they have the clothing I want.

Our shopping centre in Tilburg is small compared to other cities so it’s not that crowded. You can find good discounts in Tilburg around the summer holidays because there are many sales in all the stores because they need to get rid of the old collection.


Dear BBC,

My name is Filia

Yesterday I heard your program on the radio. You asked us to let you know which place we liked to shop and some other questions. I actually like to shop in Amsterdam, because it’s a big city and there are a lot of different shops.

You asked us if we prefer the big shopping centres of the boutiques on the high streets. In the Netherlands we don’t have a lot of big shopping centres so I can’t answer that question right. If I had to choose I would choose the boutiques on the high street.

You also asked us which venues we preferred, the upmarket of the down-market. My answer is that I prefer both. I wear clothes that I bought at the H&M but also clothes that are a lot expensive.

I’ve told you earlier that we don’t have big shopping centres in the Netherlands, but we have small ones. In Tilburg we’ve got a couple of shopping centers and it’s near to my home. It’s about 5 minutes to cycle.

The best discounts and deals in Tilburg you can find in shops like the H&M, Zeeman and Wibra. I actually don’t prefer the Zeeman and the Wibra but there are people who prefer them.

I hope that I’ve told you enough about our shopping behavior.


Dear members of the BBC,

I am Erik from Tilburg.

I don’t really have a favorite place to shop, for me it’s just get in, get what you need and get out of the store. If I really need to choose a favorite store it would be the Jumbo; a supermarket near my house.

I prefer upmarket venues but I think that the Jumbo is a bit in between up and down market venues because they sell a bit more expensive products but also low-budget cheap products.

The shopping centers near me aren’t usually very crowded so that isn’t a problem here. If you want the best discounts of best deals you should probably go to the Action; a store that sells a lot of different products for cheap prices, ranging from toys for kids to clothes and even electronics and hardware.