Europe's biggest inner-city shopping centre officially opened in London in the face of worries that the British economy is teetering on the brink of recession.
The Westfield London centre has cost nearly three billion dollars to build.
It covers more than 17 hectares (43 acres) and is home to more than 260 shops, 50 restaurants, a 14-screen cinema, a gym and a spa.
London Mayor Boris Johnson officially opened the complex which he's hailing as a fantastic vote of confidence.
SOUNDBITE: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, saying (English):
"That confidence will be repaid because this shopping centre will still be here when this recession, and the next recession, and the one after that, have faded into memory."
The giant centre is gambling heavily on the luxury end of the market, traditionally one of the first victims of economic slowdown.
It's being largely welcomed by shoppers but there were some grumblers.
SOUNDBITE: Unidentified shopper saying (English):
"I thought it would be more grand, the opening day, but it's not as grand as what I thought. And then it's a bit hard to find anything."
SOUNDBITE: Unidentified shoppers saying (English):
"I like it, I'd definitely come back."
"It's a shopping centre - any girl likes a shopping centre."
Despite the darkening global economic outlook analysts say the new centre is likely to weather any recession because its novelty will make it a magnet for shoppers.
That view is echoed by some store managers.
SOUNDBITE: Gary Stevenson, Senior Store Manager at Debenhams, saying (English):
"We're very well aware of the current economic situation but we think that people will be so fascinated to come into Westfield that we're still hoping for a very merry Christmas."
Not such merry prospects for stores in the high streets of surrounding areas who stand to lose up to 12 per cent of turnover to the new rival and that's if consumer spending stays at its present level.
Australian retail property firm Westfield which jointly owns the development planning for another new centre in the east of London in time for the Olympics in 2012.
Paul Chapman, Reuters