Birmingham Shopping Tips by Galahad Top 5 Page for this destination
Birmingham Shopping: 50 reviews and 52 photos
Well I finally have been to see The Bull Ring which opened on 4th September 2003. This brand new £500m city centre shopping centre maybe the largest shopping centre in Europe but I was a little disappointed.
The new Selfridge's Department Store is certainly architecturely stunning but I think it is better on the outside than the inside. The food hall is certainly exciting but the exotic is carried too far most of the time. I'm afraid I do not feel qualified to write about the other departments.
March 2004 Selfridges have announced that the store has been so successful that they are to spend GBP2m on refurbishing, reorganising and extending some departments. The main areas will be the food hall, the wine department (50% of sales are champagne) and some of the clothes departments.
October 2005 The readers of the magazine "In Style" have voted Selfridges as the best department store both in London and outside the capital.
The new Bull Ring contains 1.2 million sq ft of retail space. About 100 different retailers opened in the centre and they recruited about 8000 staff for the whole of the centre when they opened.
Glass from the old Bull Ring Centre has been reused to create a major glass artwork at one of the entrances for an observatory cafe for Border Books overlooking St Martin's Square, but on the day I visited I could not find it.
November 2007 In the first year after opening, The Bull Ring had 36.5 million visitors and is the most visited shopping centre outside of London's West End.
Directions: Next to both New Street and Moor Street Railway Stations. At New Street there is now a bridge from The Pallisades Shopping Centre (go up the escalator from the station concourse). At Moor Street turn left and cross the road.
This is Birmingham' most exclusive shopping development. It has been described as Birmingham's Bond Street. All the shops are very up market - Harvey Nicholls, shoe shops, art dealers, top women's hair stylists, etc. There are now several good quality restaurants overlooking the smart restored canal-side or in the old street . The reason for my title of Mall/Street is that an old street goes through the centre of the building, called Wharfside Street, and that the shopfronts are in line with old street boundaries.
Most of the restaurants are at what I call the back of the building. Several of them overlook the canal (which has been all tidied up) and in the summer it can be very pleasant to eat outside here.
The BBC have moved their Midlands Television, Radio and Local Radio studios to The Mailbox and they have a retail shop in the foyer , again this is at the canal end of the building.
What to pay: Most of the shops are expensive but the restaurants are not all at the very expensive end of the market (even I can afford some of them!!!). I look forward to other people's views
This pedestrian arcade was built in 1876 over an old railway tunnel. It contains a number of upmarket niche retailers and boutiques.
Dec 2003 One of the specialist shops in Great Western Arcade is Chouchoute, a chocolatere.
Directions: The northern end of the arcade starts opposite Snow Hill Railway Station.
Same store but smartened up to compete with Selfridges. As part of the new image they have changed the name (pity). Having said that, we actually preferred the food hall to that of the flashy Selfridges where you feel everyone's a young thing. I think its old age!!! I would have liked a few more really knowledgeable staff to be around in the food hall. I didn't look at the other departments so I can't comment.
Address: Corporation Street
Directions: In the centre of the old city centre. 5 minutes walk from each of the 3 railway stations and the metro.
Theme: Department Store
This is one of those high quality furniture shops. I haven't been in the 4 floor store for some time now, but you used to be able to get bespoke furniture here.
Address: Broad Street
Theme: Home Furnishing
Almost opposite New Street Railway Station and the new Debenhams (part of the new Bull Ring) is the retail Fish Market. As you wander between the various stalls you can wonder at the variety of fish available for sale. If you look closely you can begin to spot those traders that have excellent quality and those that are aiming to be the cheapest in the market. When we visited in Oct 2003 we found some excellent "wild" Sea Bass (sadly most is farmed now), which we had steamed for tea.
Theme: Food and Drink
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