Shopping in Dundee
Like all cities in Scotland, Dundee is not only the shopping area used by the city’s residents but it also serves a wider rural population that could be located anything up to 150km (120 miles) away. Dundee city centre is like any other UK city, having shopping malls and yet still retaining a thriving ‘High Street’ environment as well.
The most centrally located shopping centre is ‘The Overgate’, which is along the Nethergate road and was built around the ‘City Churches’ and this Scottish city’s Mercat Cross. Normal daily opening hours are 09:00 to 18:00; exceptions to this are Thursdays when it stays open until 19:30 and Sundays when it opens at 12:00 and closes at 17:00. Also, please be aware that opening times can vary on Public Holidays. Stores in this shopping mall include: Debenhams, Argus, Primark and Next; as well as the usual range of lower-end designer names like French Connection and Gap. There are also plenty of cafes and food stores to buy refreshments from whilst you’re shopping. The shopping centre is less than a five minute walk for the railway station and the local bus services stop outside it, the centre has its own 700 space car park - with plenty of other car parking nearby. The Overgate is unique in Europe being the only shopping centre that opens on only one side, approaching the centre you see a two storey wall of glass curving around the City Churches in front of it.
The first purpose built shopping centre in Dundee was the Wellgate Shopping Centre to the north east of the city centre, on the Wellgate road. The centre is spread over three storeys and has fifty stores including branches of: BHS, Virgin MegaStore, Woolworths and J D Sports. This shopping mall is open 08:00 to 18:00, except Thursdays when it stays open until 20:00 and Sundays when it’s open 11:00 to 17:00. Wellgate has at least 200,000 customers a week through its doors, reflecting its popularity in a city of less than 150,000 residents. The mall is easily accessed by foot from the city centre, it is also served well by the local bus services and has its own 600 space car park. Car parking prices here, for a city centre location, are excellent - with daily rates lower than some cities hourly ones. Also located in the Wellgate Centre is the city’s Central (main public) Library, which is very convenient if you’ve been dragged to the shopping mall but would actually rather read a book or research something. There are, of course, plenty of cafes in the shopping centre to relax in during a shopping trip here.
City Quay is the newest shopping centre in Dundee. Opened in 2002 it is a retail and leisure park located in the, listed and refurbished, buildings that were once the warehouses of the former Victoria Quay. The waterfront setting for City Quay is approached from the A92, Edinburgh to Aberdeen road, and has its own ample car parking space. Being on the north end of the old docks area this shopping centre is slightly outside the main city centre area, but is nonetheless within a couple of minutes walking distance of the bus station on Seagate and Trades Lane. City Quay tends to have retail outlets aimed more at the tourist, lifestyle and ‘boutique’ fashion trade than any of the High Street chain stores.
Many Roads in Dundee are still important for shoppers in the city. To date Marks & Spencer have resisted the temptation to relocate themselves into a shopping centre and maintain their store on Seagate, at the eastern end of the city centre. Other important city centre ‘shopping’ streets include: Nethergate, High Street, Panmure Street, Meadowside and Castle Street. On Reform Street, which in turn is off the High Street, the local Farmers and Continental markets are held over one week-end each month.
There are two main retail parks in Dundee. The Kingsway Retail Park is on the Kingsway West, A90 road, to the north of the city by the Camperdown County Park. This is the main retail park for the city and has branches of MFI, Toys 'R' Us, PC World and Homebase amongst others. However, its key feature is the largest Tesco Extra store in Scotland. The Gallagher Retail Park is just outside the city centre opposite the City Quay development off East Dock Street. Large stores here include Matalan, JJB and Next.
If you’re looking for something a little more ‘off-beat’ then go to Perth Road or out of the city to nearby Broughty Ferry. The ‘Izta’ shop on Gray Street, at Broughty Ferry, has a great selection of quirky gifts or presents you could buy, instead of a tartan tea cosy or rug. Many of the items here have a Mexican theme to them, although there is no apparent connection between Dundee and Mexico, or even Central America in general.