Burnside Village – the name speaks for itself. Located in one of Adelaide’s upper-class suburbs of Glenside, the shopping centre has earned quite an esteemed reputation with its establishment during the 80’s. Having only spent brief periods in the precinct, I felt it was necessary to gain a better understanding of what Burnside Village had to offer.
What I first noticed was the similarity between the patrons, who predominantly seemed to be middle-aged and senior citizen women, all of which were shopping in pairs or small groups of three to four. The ladies all seemed to be dressed rather formally as well, either in pant suits or pencil skirts, perhaps sneaking in a quick shopping trip during their break. There were hardly any men around the centre, other than the salesmen themselves. This all changed after 3:30 pm, when in the blink of an eye young children, their mothers, and high school students from nearby colleges began to swarm in.
With them came much more noise, not enough however to disrupt the shopping complex’s tranquility. There was a real sense of peacefulness, both among the shoppers and the layout of the building itself. Being surrounded by high ceilings with numerous sky lights, made it difficult not to get lost in your own little shopping heaven. Outside blossomed with plants, shrubs and fountains, contributing to the clever village theme throughout the precinct, which was subtly reinforced through ‘The Village Pharmacy and Market’.
There was no shortage of places to sit and relax, although I’m not referring to the typical park benches you come across in a shopping district. Instead, Burnside offers its patrons the option to sit on large, comfortable lounge room chairs that you’d normally see on the cover of an Ikea catalogue. Fancy! If in need of a refreshment, there were plenty of cafes situated in the centre, although if you happened to be craving junk food, you’ve definitely come to the wrong place.
It’s important to acknowledge the sophisticated theme that was present in Burnside Village. Unlike the markets, you had no chance of trying to bargain for a cheap deal, particularly with the high-end brands available for purchase in the jewelry stores, such as Gucci. The precinct’s exclusivity was also apparent with the stores Zara, Willow and Thurley and Husk, as all three are only available at Burnside in SA. Zara in particular was very current in its Street Styles, sporting A-line skirts, “mum” jeans and embroidery, which Vogue Australia’s editor Rebecca Shalala, notes are defining trends for this season.
Additionally, the relationship between the shop assistants and shoppers themselves differed. Although the retailers were more than happy to help and were rather attentive, their approach seemed to more professional rather than personal.
On my way out, I couldn’t help but notice the distinctive feature allowing patrons to recharge their electric car in the complex’s underground car park, something I’m not usually exposed to at my regular shopping complex (good ol’ TTP).
I strongly recommend you head down to Burnside Village yourself and share your thoughts with me. Was your shopping experience as extravagant and surprising as mine?