The Mall SouthamptonEdit profile
The Marlands Shopping Mall was opened on 5 September 1991. At the time, the Marlands Shopping Mall was the largest shopping centre in Southampton and the first significant shopping centre in the city (East Street Shopping Centre being well out of the way of the main shopping district hence never being very successful and the Bargate Centre being much smaller), however it is now dwarfed by WestQuay, which opened in 2000.
The Marlands Shopping Centre was constructed to an extremely PostModern design, which was described at the time of opening by one critic as looking like "something made of Lego". The Centre was built on the site of Southampton's bus station (the city is now without such a facility), a popular rose garden and some terraced housing. Some of the facades of the houses were retained and form an interesting part of the centre's atrium.
The centre is laid out across two levels, with escalators connecting them at the North West entrance and escalators and glass lifts connecting them in the atrium, at the South of the centre. Unlike most of its contemporaries, the Marlands Shopping Centre does not contain a car park of any kind - the designated car park for the centre is accessed by going through Southampton's unusual ASDA supermarket which is on a slope - you go in on the ground floor and come out on the tenth floor - and across a bridge.
The original anchor tenant Dunnes Stores is now Matalan. Other significant stores include Poundland CeX, The Disney Store and F. Hinds. The upper level of the centre has never been hugely successful - many of the units have been empty for some time. This lack of success is mainly due to the centre's location which is to the Northern part of the main shopping area although still in the centre of the city.
In 2005-2006 the main (Above Bar Street) entrance to the centre was significantly refurbished. The original 'Postmodern' sign tower was replaced with an ultramodern glass and steel canopy and a new Costa Coffee outlet. An information desk was also added.
On Thursday 19th August 2010 The Mall was sold as a £136m deal. Other Malls throughout the UK have been sold and will now be run as part of a group, together with others in Gloucester, Romford and Falkirk, by a specially created management company called The Other Retail Group.