I was down seeing clients in Melbourne last week and took some time out to visit the newly expanded Chadstone Shopping Centre.  Colonial First State are positioning this centre as ‘The Fashion Capital’ and it is certainly strong on luxury brands as well as most of the usual mid-range suspects.  The area of the mall that houses these boutique stores allows full height glass shopfronts and a high ceiling that floods the public areas with plenty of natural light.  Some of the fitouts are quite remarkable.  My favourites were Tangelo Fine Foods with their decorative wallpapers (, Speedo’s lively brand store with it’s blue uplighting and mosaic tiling – very pool themed and refreshing, Hardy Brothers with some gorgeous joinery and lighting, Hermanns with their funky fluid shelving concept (albeit rude staff) …

Louis Vutton Window at Chadstone
Ralph Lauren Window at Chadstone
Speedo at Chadstone
Another Store in Chadstone
Chadstone Store
Mimco? at Chadstone

However the experience of the centre as a whole was a bit of a let down.  It is spread across so much convoluted floor space that even the most mall-savvy customer is sure to find themselves exhausted and confused.  It is so big that no woman on earth would be able to shop more than half of it in one day and this begs the question as to whether there’s such a thing as too big a mall?  Also the general finish of the public areas was unimpressive.  The quality of the floor finishes, light features and occasional seating ae surpassed by Westfield’s Doncaster’s luxury brand zone.  I was expecting Chadstone to eclipse Doncaster’s wow factor but it falls short, lacking the sense of a premium mall experience and the clean sight lines that make Doncaster easier on the shopper.

Tangelo at Chadstone
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