Brent Cross Shopping Centre was opened in 1976. It was the country's first out-of-town and American-style indoor shopping centre in the country, with its construction taking 19 years to complete at a cost of £20 million.
On 14 December 1991, four explosive devices were planted by the Provisional Irish Republican Army (IRA). The bombs were discovered and defused before they could be detonated.
On 6 November 2012, six people on three motorbikes entered the shopping centre and smashed in the windows at jewellers Fraser Hart. An estimated £2 million worth of jewellery was stolen.
Brent Cross shopping centre is planned to be extended as a part of the Brent Cross Cricklewood regeneration scheme. The John Lewis and Fenwick Department stores will remain in their current location, Marks & Spencer will move to a new location on the extended site, the bus station will be relocated, and new parks, a "living bridge" across the North Circular Roadand a cinema are planned, along with new multi-storey car parks (with the existing surface carparks to be used for the shopping centre extension). Outline planning permission was achieved in 2010, and preparatory site clearance started in early 2018. Construction had been expected to start in 2018, but is now delayed until 2019.