Shockwaves continue to ripple through our office, as we attempt to come to terms with Liffey Valley's placement.
The news of H&M Home opening in Liffey Valley at the end of last week spurred a debate amongst the Lovin team regarding the merits of various Dublin shopping centres - a bit like the Five Points in Gangs of New York, each shopping centre is a finger. When you close our hand, it becomes a fist. And if you wish, you can turn it against the Ilac.
We took to IG and put the question to our followers, which yielded interesting results. A significant lean towards Dundrum Town Centre is perhaps unsurprising; we can only hope that those under the D14 chokehold find a way to be brave and travel a bit further up the M50 to discover the wonders that await elsewhere.
Anyway, for those who seek it, here's a list of some of the most prominent Dublin shopping centres, ranked in order by our followers.
Rathfarnham's Nutgrove has a unique edge, being one of the only centres on the list still offering free parking - shopping centre enthusiasts across the county are still reeling after the implementation of paid parking at Liffey Valley last year. A bit like Artane Shopping Centre or the Omni, Nutgrove serves the purpose of bringing Penneys and McDonald's to the Dublin suburbs, serving as somewhere locals can walk or get a bus to rather than having to drive but would you be frantically heading there before your holidays to get your last minute bits? Probably not. Still though, a local institution which managed to land itself a smattering of votes on our IG poll.
6. The Ilac Centre
Ah, the Ilac. The go-to destination for a chunky, jewel-coloured wedge heel or pleather peplum top in years gone by and home to Dublin's Central Library, the Ilac has a decent Dunnes and a TK Maxx if you're ready to go divin' for deals. You can buy a donut, a square pizza slice and get your baby's name stitched onto a teeny dressing gown all in one swift visit - can't argue with that convenience.
Opened in 1996, you might know the Jervis for the pilgrimage required to get to the bathrooms and its top floor food court - a go-to spot for tweens embarking on their first trip into town all by themselves, crisp fiver in hand ready to be squandered at KFC. The Jervis was also the home of Dublin's only Forever 21 once upon a time - a three storey structure enabling us to pretend we were in an LA mall rather than on Abbey Street Upper. Now, it's got a sizeable JD Sports, sitting alongside exotic additions like Stradivarius and Superdrug.
4. Stephen's Green Shopping Centre
A hot topic of conversation in recent times since the proposed redesign for the shopping centre was unveiled late last year, Stephen's Green Shopping Centre as we know it was unveiled in 1987 with a target demographic of "young, middle class (women) with a great deal of spending power".
Anyone who's frequented Stephen's Green will agree it's not perfect. The 25c bathroom charge. The readily available supply of escalators to travel up a level, and what feels like none to travel back down. The mysterious top floor. But it's definitely one of the prettier shopping centres, with its domed roof, arched windows and flower boxes harking back to the days of yore and the Dunnes basement deli is a solid lunchtime option.
3. Liffey Valley
There are a few Lovin team members disgruntled at Liffey Valley's lower ranking among the holy trinity of Dublin shopping centres - sure, the introduction of parking charges was a setback but the Valley still has it all. With a well laid out, non-chaotic Penneys, boujie new M&S and sizeable Boots, there's a lot to be said for this D22 offering. Want to see a film at 10pm or try your luck at an American-style burger eating contest? This is your shopping centre.
2. Blanchardstown Centre
If you're not a Blanch veteran, this sprawling centre can be overwhelming. It's hard to know where to start when tackling Blanchardstown's 180 stores and 3,000 retail parks, but if you know where you're going there are undisputed gems to uncover. The centre is notorious for weekend traffic but ultimately wins points as much like the LUAS, parking at Blanch is free.
1. Dundrum Town Centre
Somewhat controversially, our followers voted Dundrum Town Centre as Dublin’s number one. Opening in 2005, the D16 retail space has gone through many phases, admittedly entering its flop era for a period of time post-covid, but like a Phoenix has risen from the ashes, its status recently elevated by the addition of a two-storey Penneys (complete with high tech self-checkouts), a Superdrug (better than Boots, I said what I said), a Brown Thomas, and perhaps most importantly, the ever-coveted Dunnes (at long last).
Is it a bit notionsy? Of course - it’s a four-storey shopping centre nestled in Dublin’s southside - and does it lose points for its lack of free parking - naturally, yes - but at least one member of Lovin Dublin has to agree with our viewers when voting this as the city’s best shopping centre.
Thanks to everyone who participated in the poll, including our one male team member who abhors shopping centres of all descriptions and cited the once majestic Crumlin Shopping Centre as his mall of choice.
Header images via Instagram / Liffey Valley & Dundrum Town Centre