The second City will maintain its lofty slot in the UK's retailing super-league, according to pundits at the latest Birmingham Post Business Property Forum.
Panel members at this month's event displayed a rare accord by agreeing that the arrival of the Bullring would allow the city to hold on to third place, behind London and Glasgow.
The forum, which is held in association with Headline Communications, has a tradition of generating forthright opinions from Birmingham's professional community.
This time round though the mood was more benevolent, as the guests debated regional retail sector trends in the Bank House offices of Gerald Eve.
Mailbox director Mark Billingham tried to be scrupulously objective when suggesting that the Bullring's novelty appeal would diminish, and that some visitors came to admire, rather than to shop.
However, he conceded that the eye-catching complex's ability to suck people into the city's central areas could only be good for Birmingham.
"In the first quarter, in almost all cases, trade in the Mailbox was significantly up on the same period last year," said Mr Billingham.
Guy Webber, who heads Jones Lang LaSalle's city office, admitted that before the Bullring's arrival, Birmingham had badly needed a mass, mainstream, middle-market store.
He also hoped that local residents would now no longer feel the need to head to London for their twice-yearly "big shop".
Austin Barber, a former Birmingham Post journalist who now lectures in urban and regional studies at Birmingham University, highlighted another element of the Bullring factor.
"A small, but important aspect is the extension of opening hours," he suggested. "It's a huge cultural move for Birmingham to be moving into the evening, in the way that we would expect from any major city in Europe or North America."
He believes the arrival of the Bullring has also enabled Birmingham to finally realise its potential as a regional capital.
A discordant note had been sounded in advance of the debate by Gerald Eve's Prime Retail Research report, which suggested Birmingham's retail heart deserved a low rating for both accessibility and security. Gerald Eve partner Richard Williamson didn't quite toe the party line by theorising that some negative perceptions had been created by problems caused during the Bullring's lengthy gestation period.
"Birmingham didn't score well for functionality issues, such as parking and ease of access, but we expect that element to improve significantly in our 2004 research," he predicted. Mr Barber's chief concern was that Birmingham's retail boom would emphasise the inadequacies of its public transport network.
"Sometimes, you can see the city almost choking on its own success. It only takes an accident or a breakdown in one of the tunnels to create gridlock," he said.
Mr Barber identified transport issues as critical, but suggested that security fears had been overdone. He also mused about the city's continued inability to develop "distinctive and diverse" clusters of small independent retailers.
Some considered that an accident of urban geography, others that such entrepreneurs preferred life in the suburbs and surrounding towns.
The most controversial question under discussion appeared to be the Bullring's impact on retail centres in such locations as Sutton Coldfield and Worcester.
The harmonious mood was maintained to the end though, as all agreed that time had to pass before judgment could be made.