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Norwich was the eighth most prosperous shopping destination in the UK in 2006. Norwich has an ancient market place, established by the Normans between 1071 and 1074, which is today the largest six-days-a-week open-air market in England. The market has recently been downsized and undergone redevelopment, and the new market stalls have proved controversial: with 20% less floorspace than the original stalls, higher rental and other charges, and inadequate rainwater handling, they have been unpopular with many stallholders and customers alike. Indeed, the local Norwich Evening News characterises Norwich Market as an ongoing conflict between the market traders and Norwich City Council, which operates the market.
The Mall Norwich (Castle Mall until 2007), a shopping mall designed by local practice Lambert, Scott & Innes and opened in 1993, presents an ingenious solution to the problem of sensitively accommodating new retail space in a historic city-centre environment - the building is largely concealed underground and built into the side of a hill, with a public park created on its roof in the area south of the Castle.
The new Chapelfield shopping mall has been built on the site where the Caleys (later Rowntree Mackintosh and Nestlé) chocolate factory once stood. Chapelfield opened in September 2005, and is described as 'a major new shopping experience', featuring a new flagship department store House of Fraser. Detractors have criticised Chapelfield as unnecessary and damaging to local businesses; its presence has prompted smaller retailers to band together to promote the virtues of independent shops. Despite this in August 2006 it was reported by the Javelin Group that Norwich was one of the top five retail destinations in the UK, and in October 2006 the city centre was voted the best in the UK, in a shopping satisfaction survey run by Goldfish
The city's economy, originally chiefly industrial with shoemaking a large sector, has changed throughout the eighties and nineties to a service-based economy. Norwich Union, an Aviva company, still dominates these, but has been joined by other insurance and financial services companies.
New developments on the former Boulton and Paul site include the Riverside entertainment complex with nightclubs and other venues featuring the usual national leisure brands. Nearby, the football stadium is being upgraded with more residential property development alongside the river Wensum.
Archant, formerly known as Eastern Counties Newspapers (ECN) is a national publishing group that has grown out of the city's local newspaper, the Norwich Evening News and the regional Eastern Daily Press (EDP).
The city has long been associated with the manufacture of mustard. The world famous Colman's brand, with its yellow packaging, was founded in 1814 and continues to operate from its factory at Carrow. Colman's is now been exported world wide by its parent company Unilever (Unilever UK Export) putting Norwich on the map of British heritage brands. You also can find the Colman's gift shop in the centre of Norwich which sells all kind of Colman's related products.
Rail links to the rest of the country are via London Liverpool Street Station and Peterborough. Local lines also run to destinations including Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Sheringham and Cambridge. Norwich formerly had three stations running to a number of other local destinations, but now the rail terminus is at Thorpe Station.
Norwich is a popular destination for a city break; major attractions include Norwich Cathedral, the cobbled streets and museums of old Norwich, a Norman Castle and the ultra modern Forum. Norwich is also one of the Uk's top ten shopping destinations, with a mix of high street names, individual shops and one of the largest outdoor markets in England.