Grosvenor’s £1 billion retail, leisure and residential scheme Liverpool One opens its doors today.

The first phase of the 42 acre (15 ha) Liverpool One development is anchored by John Lewis and Debenhams. The final phase will open on September 30.

About 40 stores will open today, including the hotly anticipated UK debut for Inditex brand Pull and Bear, as well as sister brand Zara. Other retailers include Aldo, Jane Norman, JD Sports, Republic, Warehouse and New Look.

Today’s launch will include features such as the world’s longest catwalk themed as a Theatre of Fashion, as well as pyrotechnics and an acrobatic show.

Debenhams chief executive Rob Templemen said: “We are delighted to be opening a flagship store in Liverpool, the 2008 European Capital of Culture. The Liverpool One development is in itself a statement of the city’s thriving retail environment and we look forward to being part of this exciting stage in Liverpool’s development.”