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Member Name: shonsay
Braehead Shopping Centre (Glasgow)
Date: 06/02/11, updated on 06/02/11 (175 review reads)
Advantages: Easy to get to, reasonable amount of shops
Disadvantages: Shops are no different to other malls so gets a bit boring
The Braehead Shopping Centre caused a bit of a fuss in the local area when it opened as it was the first major mall constructed in the Renfrewshire area. It's located just outside Glasgow on the outskirts of the small town of Renfrew and is easily reached from the M8 motorway or by the Clyde Tunnel. The building itself is made of a lot of silvery metals & materials and it has an undulated roof shape so is quite modern looking. The area in which it's situated is like a large shopping estate itself and you have Ikea, Xscape, Sainsbury's, Next, Halfords and a few computer shops which stand alone and separate from the Braehead shopping centre building itself.
There are 3 entrances to the mall; one in the centre and one at each end. You will find a good amount of parking spaces and there are a few multi storey carparks to deal with an overflow of heavy traffic but generally, you can find a space reasonably near the door. There are well placed disabled spaces and dedicated parking spots for parents with small children although they don't seem to be as well monitored as they could be and so a lot of times you will see people abusing these spaces when they aren't entitled to use them. The car parks are well posted from the main roads and unless it's a busy Saturday or a peak time in the run up to Xmas you can usually get a space straight away.
Inside the shopping centre, you will find 2 levels of shops. On the first floor you have stores such as M&S (which is a large branch and extends over 2 floors), River Island, Primark, New Look, Boots, GAP (which I believe is currently closing down), Topshop, Monsoon, Superdrug, numerous jewellers, Lipsy, Sports Soccer, HMV, Waterstones, GAME and a few card shops. The distance between the stores along the mall hallway is not too far and I would guess it takes under 3 minutes to walk from one end to the other. The hallway and central atrium are clean and bright looking with a polished floor that is kept really clean thanks to the team of cleaning staff who keep on top of this. All along the mall you will find wooden seats and benches if you are in need of a rest and there are large plants dotted around the centre which add a nice touch. You always see staff constantly walking the floors keeping them clean.
To get to the second floor you can either use the escalators at either end of the mall or by using the lift or stairs located at the central part of the mall. The central part often has something going on in it like fashion shows, sales teams from large companies selling cars, beds or other items and is also where the Santa's Grotto is at Christmas. On the second floor you have more stores such as Dorothy Perkins, Topman, The Body Shop, Jane Norman, Oasis, Warehouse, Lush, Specsavers, H&M, G-Star Raw, Thorntons and a selection of jewellers and travel agents. You will also find a reception desk at the central part of the 2nd floor where you can buy gift vouchers or get information on job vacancies or general directions & questions.
Just off the central atrium you will find a foodcourt, Lloyds TSB bank and Regis hairdressers. The food court has KFC, McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway, O'Briens and several counters selling Chinese, Italian, Fish & Chips and smoothies. These are spread across both floors and have escalators right next to them. Toilets are located just before the foodcourt on both floors and they are clean, well maintained and monitored.
The thing that annoys me about shopping malls is that it's always the same old shops in them. I get fed up with the same 5 shops where I can buy clothes and it just isn't the same as making a trip into Glasgow City centre where you have a much wider choice of stores. You won't find a lot of difference between shops at the Braehead compared to those at other malls anywhere in the UK. I do like the fact that in a mall you're not out in the freezing cold or rain to go from shop to shop and this is one of the benefits of Braehead. It does have a reasonable amount of shops inside so you're bound to find what your looking for and it is very clean and modern inside so it's a pleasant place to be in.
Summary: It's ok but some of the shops are a bit naff