The rejuvenated Bullring, featuring Selfridges and the iconic bronze bull, will be celebrating its fifth birthday on Thursday.
And since it opened its doors on September 4, 2003, more than 200 million visitors have spent billions of pounds there. The shopping centre has been credited for bringing glamour, as well as a touch of wealth to the region.
The bronze bull and eye-catching Selfridges store have also give Birmingham two of its most distinctive landmarks.
General manager Tim Walley says it has exceeded all expectations. But he also believes there is also a lot more work to be done to complete the regeneration of Birmingham - by reducing crime and improving transport.
“The biggest challenge of the first five years was to bring Midland shoppers back into Birmingham city centre,” he said. “Before Bullring was rebuilt there was no reason to come into Birmingham to shop. There just weren’t many stores here, apart from House of Fraser and Marks & Spencer.
“And in the preceeding years out-of-town shopping centres had sprung up, like Merry Hill in Brierley Hill, the 1985, and Touchwood in Solihull in 2001. Many people travelled to them for the shops.
“But a big attraction for the team that rebuilt the Bullring was that the site is situated in a huge catchment area.
“There are 4.5 million people who live within a 45-minute drive, and several million more who live within a one hour drive time. We wanted to bring shoppers back into the city centre which, apart from lack of shops, did not have a very good reputation.
“And that has been our greatest success. We now see 40 million visitors a year. The amount of money taken by the stores over the last five years runs into billions. It is mainly a centre for fashion, so clothing makes up a big amount of this.
“Jewellery is popular too, probably because of Birmingham’s history with this industry through its Jewellery Quarter. And our eateries are very popular. In fact, we are in a position where we are hoping to open more.”
But Mr Walley said he believes the regeneration of the city is only half complete.
“Birmingham was seen as a city of crime and grime before the Bullring opened,” he explained. “We do not have a major problem with crime at the centre, especially compared to other shopping destinations.
“There is no major problem with shoplifting, for example. But crime still occurs there, and there is still a fear of crime for visitors to Birmingham.
“Improving the walkways between the different centres in Birmingham could go a long way to improving this.
“For example making the walk between the Bullring and Broad Street more attractive with increased security and plantation would help. And the whole of nearby Digbeth certainly needs to be improved.”
Since the centre opened one of the victims of crime has been its popular bronze bull which stands proudly at its entrance.
Vandals scratched graffiti onto it twice previously.
But, despite these attacks, the bull has become a popular Birmingham landmark with scores of visitors lining up to have their photo taken in front of it.
The Selfridges store, with its dramatically curvacious structure and silver tiles, is also now a Birmingham landmark.
Mr Walley said: “The Selfridges building put us on the map and brought us national, as well as local, interest.
“We likened it to Marmite - you either loved it or hated it.
“It is featured on many key images of Birmingham, just like the bull. We also have St Martin’s church in the Bull Ring, too, another important Birmingham landmark.”
As well as reducing crime, Mr Walley believes improving transport links to the city are vital for its regeneration.
“The upgrading of New Street was being discussed when we opened five years ago,” he said. “It is vital that it goes ahead. It is a major gateway to the city and is currently not the best way to get in.”
Mr Walley has high hopes for the future. He says the Bullring is bucking the trends seen among other retail outlets during the present credit crunch and actually seeing an increase in growth.
“We are still repeating our six per cent year on year growth, despite the current economic climate,” he added.