The Mailbox has only a few shops but they are designers, you have an Armani shop, Harvey Nicholls Store, Toni & Guy Salons, Nicky Clarke Salons, Hugo Boss, DKNY, Belle Scarpe & much more.
What to buy: your designer clothes & 1 offs
What to pay: Here you can expect to pay more than your average shops as its all designers
In its' quest to become a modern, trendy city the mailbox is an attempt to create an upmarket shopping area. It claims that the the shopping centre / hotel / restaurant / parking / chewing gum holder development is the, and I quote, 'biggest mixed use development in the U.K'.
That is as maybe, but it also means that in the quest to 'cutting edge' the place suffers from the worst examples of 'developer speak'.
I'll try and translate a little for you :
1) This unique development offers a truly integrated lifestyle choice for the first time in the city's history. It brings together designer fashion and lifestyle shops, luxury apartments, two hotels, secure 24 hour parking and an array of restaurants and café bars. All in an exclusive waterside setting only two or three minutes walk from New Street station.
Means : We got anybody we could to be tennant, but we drew the line at Poundworld or Woolworths. A quick exit is available by train to London
2) Birmingham's answer to Bond Street, Wharfside Street is a 200 metre open-air pedestrian route carved dramatically through the full length of The Mailbox.
Means : Its bloody freezing when the wind whips through.
3) It features the largest collection of stand alone designer stores outside London including international brands such as Emporio Armani, Harvey Nichols, DKNY, Polo Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss.
Means : Brummies have only just started buying the designer crap the rest of us have bought for years.
NB : DKNY actually stands for Don't Know Nothing Youth.
3) There is the wide variety of stylish restaurants and café bars on offer from Indian cuisine (Café Lazeez) and Japanese (Shogun Noodle Bar) to Italian (Zizzi) and modern new Mexican (Santa fe). Catering for all tastes and budgets, a visit to the many waterside restaurants and café bars makes a perfect post-shopping retreat.
Means : Yet more overpriced, tiny-proportioned, pretend food places to waste your money in once you have been fleeced elsewhere.
This is not a single shop, but a whole collection of designer clothes shops, bars, restaurants and several hotels. It is really luxurious, and it has Harvey Nicholls, which is sooo cool. I love it here.
What to buy: Clothes, they are expensive, but you have so much choice.
What to pay: Anything from £10 - £xxx there are some very very expensive clothes out there.
This is Birmingham' most exclusive shopping development. It has been described as Birmingham's Bond Street. All the shops are very up market - Harvey Nicholls, shoe shops, art dealers, top women's hair stylists, etc. There are now several good quality restaurants overlooking the smart restored canal-side or in the old street . The reason for my title of Mall/Street is that an old street goes through the centre of the building, called Wharfside Street, and that the shopfronts are in line with old street boundaries.
Most of the restaurants are at what I call the back of the building. Several of them overlook the canal (which has been all tidied up) and in the summer it can be very pleasant to eat outside here.
The BBC have moved their Midlands Television, Radio and Local Radio studios to The Mailbox and they have a retail shop in the foyer , again this is at the canal end of the building.
What to pay: Most of the shops are expensive but the restaurants are not all at the very expensive end of the market (even I can afford some of them!!!). I look forward to other people's views
Not really a department store, more of a Shopping Mall, this used to be the main Royal Mail sorting office in Birmingham, hence the name. It has an excellent array of shops with many designer names. It's also got some fab restaurants and a couple of hotels - a Malmaison and a Days Inn.
What to buy: Designer fashions such as DKNY, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani as well as a Harvey Nichols.
What to pay: Lots!
Fancy doing some designer shopping? Then visit the mailbox. This fantastic building houses some of Birminghams best shops (such as Emporio Armani, Harvey Nichols, DKNY, Polo Ralph Lauren and Hugo Boss) and also several cafe bars.