Confluence


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The Confluence Shopping Centre: 4 Star Shopping

Published by Saiesha M — 8 years ago

The Confluence Shopping Centre is a newly built complex that is situated at what is currently the end of the T1 tramline at Hotel de Region Montrochet. I say currently as plans are well underway to extend the line to Debourg, near the Stade de Gerland, home of the Olympique Lyonnais, Ligue 1 football team. I believe this is a rather cleaver ploy as visitors to the stadium could easily take the tram as an alternative to the metro, passing the Confluence shopping centre along the way, and possibly stopping off there at some point. However, it is clear that this up and coming area of Lyon is certainly far from creation, as the region is littered with building sites and construction machinery. It must be said that once all construction has been completed, the Confluence area will certainly be very attractive and modern.

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The Shopping Centre was completed earlier this year and opened its doors earlier this year. The centre aims to offer a four star shopping experience under its roof. There is a reception desk which offers many services such as cloakrooms, and one is free to use the available Ipads to find out information should that be necessary.

Although the shopping centre has a roof, there aren’t really any walls around it so although shelter from the elements is provided you do occasionally get the odd smoker who doesn’t quite know when to draw the line between being indoors and outdoors. This point tends to be just before the reception area.

The centre itself is rather large and open and incredibly modern and clean, it’s quite the contrast in comparison with Lyon’s other shopping Centre at Part Dieu, which only has the advantage of size.

I wouldn’t say there were many shops here, though Confluence does offer a good choice, such as Decitre the book store, Hollister, Suite Blanco and Zara. Zara is gigantic and offers a great range of clothes, though it is rather pricey. I would say the prices here are more similar to that of the prices for Zara UK. I have been to a Zara in Spain and it was much cheaper. As much as I would love to buy a few bits and bobs from there, it’s a bit out of my prize range for now.

The Hollister, in Lyon is Lyon’s first and in comparison to the Hollister store I worked in Kingston, United Kingdom, the store here is humongous! Again the prices here can be rather steep, so I don’t tend to buy anything from here, especially now as I don’t have my employees discount card or uniform discount. The clothing is incredibly popular especially amongst teenagers.

Suite Blanco offers a fashionable array of male and female clothing, at a fairly reasonable price, for those in the United Kingdom; I would probably say it was most like River Island.

There are of course many other shops including a gigantic Apple store, Mango and many more, including several designer stores.

There is also a Carrefour, which is particularly handy if you don’t live to far away, and it is where I tend to do the majority of my food shopping though I have just discovered there is a Simply just down the road from my residence. The Carrefour is clean, bright and spacious, though I have found they do tend to be rather lax on restocking the shelves. I went several times with the intention to buy a towel after several weeks I gave up as it appeared as though the incredibly empty bathroom section had not changed in appearance at all and it didn’t seem likely that it ever would any time soon.

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I much prefer this store to the one in Part Dieu, even though it is considerably smaller, there is always more than enough time to casually wander down the supermarket aisles in search of what you need, whereas in Part Dieu, there is so much people traffic it becomes incredibly difficult to shop in peace, though there is a much greater selection of produce available.

When it comes to grabbing a bite to eat, the majority of Confluence’s restaurants are situated on the third and top floor of the centre, thus making it virtually impossible to get up there of back down, without catching a glimpse of what else the shopping centre has to offer. I do know for a fact that shopping centres are cleverly designed to attracted visitors to the shops, so I guess this is just another technique to do so. Anyway, there is plenty of choice for everyone and for all price ranges too. Of course there is a McDonalds and a Subway should you just be looking for something quick. I guess the Mexican place or GoMex would also fit into such a category as it does have quite a Subway like set up to it. I would most certainly recommend it!

Should you wish to go for something a little more formal, there are several options, though the price varies from:

  • Reasonable from a student perspective
  • What you would normally expect to pay in Lyon
  • Quite dearly priced

It’s almost certain you will find something to suite your appetite as there a range of cuisines from around the world, including Sushi, Italian, Spanish Tapas, Chinese, Mexican and French food, of course.

I must add I almost had a little bit of a crisis whilst ordering from the self service machines at the McDonalds here, as I did drop my bank card and should it have bounced a little more, there would have been the possibility of it falling down one of the gaps in the decking of the top floor. Goodness knows what I would have done if it did fall down, but just as warning- watch out!

As well as numerous shops and restaurants, Confluence also has a incredibly large UCG cinema. As everything in completely brand new, it is a masterpiece of a cinema for it is all very well thought out and very modern. Discounts are available for students, only if you have a student card on you as security is rather tight and don’t make any acceptations. Should you have booked you tickets via a mobile phone app or online, it is possible to use your phone as ticket rather than having to worry about printing them off.

Here you would expect to pay the normal price for a student, which is around six Euros, drinks and popcorn and the usually cinema snacks are available too, though they can be rather expensive for what they are and I did find the salted popcorn to be rather too salty. On the two occasions that I have been to the cinema here, I’ve not had my bag searched so should you really want to save a few pennies, Carrefour is only a couple floors down, where one could grab a bag of sweets or two.

Most of the films the cinema has to offer are French films as it’s a cinema in France, some Hollywood Blockbusters and big films are dubbed in French, smaller American films that are not destined to be incredibly popular are shown in English with French subtitles.

The cinema itself comes across as being rather luxurious. The seats are comfortable and the screens are of decent sizes. The rooms themselves are kept incredibly clean, the floor is carpeted, which is nice as whenever I do go to the cinema in England, I always find the floor to be disgustingly sticky from when someone had previously spilt their drink before and you hear squeaks as you peel your foot of the floor as you walk along it.

I found it rather odd that on the previous two occasions I have been the cinema, I’ve taken a look around and there always seems to someone who has gone to the cinema alone, although there is absolutely nothing wrong with that, there tends to be more of stigma attached to going to the cinema alone in England.

To avoid people leaving their own screening and entering a new one on their way out, there are separate exits and entrances to each screen, which is quite a clever design.

As for the services Confluence provides, there is free wifi throughout, which works quite well. The toilets are always in an immaculate state, I am never able to say the same about the toilets in this residence. There are also photocopy machines, photo printing machines and photo booths to take passport style photographs, though most the machines don’t give change. I learnt this the hard way as I went to print out some photographs, rather stupidly didn’t select all the ones that I wanted, inserted a ten euro note and lost seven Euros!

Should you want to travel up to the city centre of Lyon in style, down the Saone River up to Bellecour or the Hotel de Ville area, one can travel by the Confluence boat which leaves every half hour or so. It costs a mere one euro fifty cents and takes roughly about five to ten minutes.

The only time the shopping centre tends to be really busy is Saturday afternoons, so during the rest of the week one is able to shop relatively hassle free in the relaxes ambiance Confluence provides.

Confluence really does offer a four star service. I do love it here as I prefer less crowded places though I do find much of it is a little out of my price range, so I mostly just tend to stick with Carrefour.

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