Whiteley shopping centre in Hampshire opened to the public just in time for the Whitsun Bank Holiday weekend at the end of May.
Thousands of shoppers attended the opening of the 320,000 sq ft retail development, which is a joint venture between Universities Superannuation Scheme and British Land.
Located between Portsmouth and Southampton, next to an existing Tesco supermarket, Whitely is easily accessible via junction nine of the M27. It is one of only a handful of new retail shopping centres to be opening this year, others being Trinity Leeds and Buchanan Street in Glasgow.
There are 58 retailers taking up residence at the centre, 18 of them offering click-and-collect services where shoppers can purchase goods online and then visit Whiteley to collect them. Familiar names include Next, Marks and Spencer, Fatface, Topshop, Paperchase and Boots, which will offer a handy late-night pharmarcy service. There are also cafés, restaurants and hairdressers, with the shopping centre staying open til 8pm to facilitate shopping after work.
Celebrities such as Denise Van Outen and theatrical entertainment for the opening event were upstaged slightly by a mysterious giant parcel, that sat until the thousands of shoppers had turned up to the centre, when it exploded in an enormous shower of colourful confetti, to the delight of all ages.