Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Year 8 Merryhill Shopping Centre

Out-of-Town shopping started in the UK in 1986 with the opening of the Metro Centre in Gateshead, near to Newcastle Upon Tyne. From this point onwards many out-of-town (regional shopping centres) have been built.

The Merryhill Centre opened in 1989. Built near to the town of Dudley it offered shoppers from the nearby city of Birmingham and surrounding towns a different shopping experience.

Advantages of Merryhill:

Friendly atmosphere
Everything indoors, protected from the weather
Disabled access
Free car parking
Sucurity guards

Although Merryhill attracts many shoppers every year, its creation has had a negative impact on the local town of Dudley. Shop owners in the town have reported a 70% decrease in the number of people shopping in Dudley. Many of the chain stores e.g. Marks and Spencer, Allied Carpets, Next, BHS, Littlewoods, have now shut their branch in Dudley and have located in the Merry Hill Centre.

Dudly now uses tourism as a means of attracting shoppers. The zoo, castle and the 'Black Country Museum' are used to attract visitors to the town, where hopefully they will spend money in the local shops.

The government have now stopped the policy of building out-of-town shopping centres, but many still feel that the negative impact on local towns that surround these centres can never be changed.

Image courtesy of westfield.com