Shopping centres these days are designed to confuse and overwhelm you so that you walk into the calm "inviting" shops to buy stuff. Right on the beach off West Coast Drive is a local shopping centre that has chosen to steer clear of this evil.
As you walk into the North Beach shops the first thing you'll notice is it's quiet yet cavernous central atrium. It's lit largely by natural light beaming in through the large windows, something you don't see at normal shopping centres.
The atrium is a very inviting place. It's very simple, decorated with a few plants, street lamps and benches to encourage socialising amongst the patrons - another thing that most shopping centres are vehemently opposed to.
The bakery sets out tables for anyone to use as the fresh smell of bread, fruit, flowers and ocean waft around the centre. Adams Cafe Tonino on the other side has a large number of benches set up along the verandah too, so you can sit back and enjoy the ocean view whilst munching on some of the best fish & chips in town.
You'll quickly notice a distinct lack of big chain stores here. There is no Woolies or Coles, instead opting for the very local and very cheap Farmer Jacks franchise which really does bring tears of joy to my eyes.
There is a very good value independent butcher, an independent green grocer, boutique fashion store and a few other small businesses all surely glad to see no evil big companies have moved in.
Upstairs you get a nice view over the atrium as you head towards Soda Sunlounge; a pricey but very good quality cafe with fantastic views out over the ocean. Down the other side of the second floor is the well respected Peak body gym.
The shop also includes a chemist, florist, bottle-o, real estate and post office. These are the kind of shopping centres we really have to support of we want to keep choice alive. The more you buy Coles Brand, Woolies Select, Homebrand etc. the more you ruin Australia!
North Beach Shopping Centre has everything you need, all produced and owned locally in a friendly, cheap and community environment... I just don't see why you'd want to shop anywhere else after coming here. Support WA business, shop local.