LUKE MARSDEN: Trafford Centre is becoming a sad relic of yesteryear

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​I had the unfortunate displeasure of visiting The Trafford Centre this week.

​It is never just a case of popping there without any hassle or spending too much money.

Oh, and before the trolls come flocking about why I didn’t spend my money in Wigan, the two shops I went to don’t exist in Wigan.

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What was once the jewel in the North West’s shopping crown has now, I feel, become totally dated and tired (like us all) and like most retail spaces, it does indeed have some empty shops.

Luke Marsden was far from impressed with his latest visit to the Trafford CentreLuke Marsden was far from impressed with his latest visit to the Trafford Centre
Luke Marsden was far from impressed with his latest visit to the Trafford Centre

Once it was THE premium shopping outlet with huge designer brands and although there are some still left, even they are either downsizing, in a perpetual state of sale or simply treading water until they have to close the shutters.

Like our beloved Grand Arcade, The Trafford Centre also has multiple "bubble tea” and sweets emporiums. It’s only short of Turkish barber’s and it could be a modern-day high street.

When I was younger, venturing to The Trafford Centre used to be a treat. It was a full-day experience that usually resulted in nearly bankruptcy for my parents but we enjoyed ourselves.

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My visit this week contained zero enjoyment. The car park is worse than Robin Park (that is a big statement I know) but signs showing “spaces available” lead you to a car park that has no room at the inn and when you do eventually get to park up, you need to be prepared to walk a 10k before you reach the golden doors.

Even the style and architecture of the building simply don’t fit the evolving Manchester skyline.

When it opened in 1998 I’m sure it was classed as high fashion to look like something from an Egyptian-inspired Hollywood film set, but now it just looks sad, a relic from yesteryear.Parallels between The Trafford Centre and our own failing retail spaces can be drawn. The vicious cycle continues as a lack of shops results in a lack of people.

Queen’s Don’t Stop Me Now used to be a theme tune for Trafford Centre TV adverts. I fear the music has stopped sometime ago…