Bluewater Shopping Centre, based in Greenhithe, Kent, is used by many people on a daily basis to get their everyday needs and presents for their loved ones. It is 150,000m2 containing 330 UK and international brands and 50 restaurants and bars. It also has 13,000 parking spaces surrounding it with 20 hectares of parkland and 7 lakes, so is not like any other shopping centre in England. (Bluewater, 2008) Below; (BBC/Lion TV, Telegraph, 2012) 2,
The idea of Bluewater was developed in 1994 when quarry operator Blue Circle approached Lend Lease to form a partnership. Construction then started on May 1st 1996 and when it opened on March 16th 1999 its total cost was approximately £400 million. Bluewater was designed to be different with its triangular design it is like no other shopping centre in the UK. Another way the designers have made Bluewater unique is by making each side of the triangular design a different shopping experience for their customers. The first side is The Guildhall which contains premium shops and gourmet cafes and restaurants; it also contains the village which gives access to the onsite nursery kids Inc. The next is the Rose Gallery which is family focused and contains high street stores; this also gives access to the wintergarden food court which now contains many different restaurants and fast food stores such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut and Wasabi. The final side is called the Thames Walk which is also based on high street stores and contains the Showcase Cinema. In 2006 developers proposed for the new events arena to be build joined to the cinema. The plans where approved and construction began in 2010, it contains several posh restaurants and has already hosted programmes that are featured on BBC. (Bluewater, 2008) 3,
Bluewater is visited by many different age groups, religions and nationalities. It has approximately 28 million visitors a year which is the equivalent on half a million a week, and on average visitors spend £150 per visit. The shopping centre has 2 main competitors, Lakeside and Westfield. Lakeside being situated only 9 miles away in West Thurrock and Westfield being 20 miles away based in Stratford, London. Bluewater caters for the different religions by having a quiet reflection room for the people that Bluewater's current status is always changing for example before the 10 year anniversary of the build they redesigned the inside of the shopping centre. Another example is the Glow Events Arena and now they are proposing to expand again. 4a,
The future potential of Bluewater is also constantly changing, the main reason for this is new technologies being produced and brought into the UK which is giving Bluewater's competitors the opportunity to get ahead with the technology side of retail therefore, Bluewater has to change to compete also. The main technology that is going to affect Bluewater is online shopping, this is due to the fact that stores are constantly updating their online shopping sites which customers are finding easier and cheaper to use as they can find their sizes easier, find discounts and postage tends to be cheaper than petrol costs driving to the store. If customers start to use online shopping more then this may cause the store located in Bluewater to close which, if this happens to many stores, will cause problems for Bluewater in time. (Girard, L, 2012.) Another way that customers are avoiding going into the stores to shop is using Google Street View; producers have now improved the system to let customers walk up the high street and into their favourite shops and look around from the comfort of their sofa. Another way technology is causing customers to avoid stores is the virtual pop-up stores that are being used by Debenhams in the UK already. This technology gives customers the opportunity to meet store staff in a location and try clothes on without having to take clothes off and buy the clothes there and then without having to be near a high street. This...
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