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Shopping mall

Shopping mall

Shopping Mall(or simply mall), shopping center, or shopping arcade is a building or set of buildings that contain stores, and has interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to easily walk from store to store. The walkways may or may not be enclosed.

In the British Isles and Australia, these structures are known as "shopping centres" or "shopping arcades" and are not normally referred to as "shopping malls". In North America, the term "shopping mall" (or "mall" for short) is usually applied to enclosed retail structures, while "shopping center" refers to open-air retail complexes.

Strip malls are a recent development, corresponding to the rise of suburban living after World War II in the United States. As such, the strip mall development has been the subject of the same criticisms leveled against suburbanization and suburban sprawl in general. In the United Kingdom these are called "retail parks" or "out-of-town shopping centres"

Wynantskill, New York, United States
Wynantskill, New York, United States



Indoor multi-vendor shopping is not a recent innovation. Isfahan's Grand Bazaar, which is largely covered, dates from the 10th century A.D. The 10 kilometer long covered Tehran's Grand Bazaar also has a very old history. The Oxford Covered Market in Oxford, England was officially opened on 1 November 1774 and is still going strong today. The Burlington Arcade in London was opened in 1819. The Arcade in Providence, Rhode Island introduced the concept to the United States in 1828. The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy followed in the 1860s and is closer to large modern malls in spaciousness. Many other large cities created arcades and shopping centers in the late 19th century and early 20th century, including the Cleveland Arcade and GUM in Moscow in 1890. Early shopping centers designed for the automobile include Market Square, Lake Forest, Illinois (1916) and Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, (1924).

In the mid-20th century, with the rise of the suburb and automobile culture in the United States, a new style of shopping center was created away from city centers. The concept was pioneered by the Austrian-born architect Victor Gruen. The new generation called malls included Northgate Mall, built in north Seattle, Washington, USA in 1950, Gruen's Northland Shopping Center, built near Detroit, Michigan, USA in 1954, and the Southdale Center, the first fully enclosed mall, which opened in the Twin Cities suburb of Edina, Minnesota, USA in 1956. In the UK, Chrisp Street Market was the first pedestrian shopping area built with a road at the shop fronts.

A very large shopping mall is sometimes called a megamall. The title of the largest enclosed shopping mall was held by the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada for 20 years. One of the world's largest shopping complex at one location is the two-mall agglomeration of the Plaza at King of Prussia and the Court at King of Prussia in the Philadelphia suburb of King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, USA. The King of Prussia mall has the most shopping per square foot in the US. Comparable in size is Europe's largest shopping center, the MetroCentre in Gateshead, England. The most visited shopping mall in the world and largest mall in the United States is the Mall of America, located near the Twin Cities in Bloomington, Minnesota, USA. However, several Asian malls are advertised as having more visitors, including Berjaya Times Square in Malaysia and SM Megamall in the Philippines.

The race is on to build the largest mall. Beijing's Golden Resources Shopping Mall, opened in October 2004, is the world's largest, at 600,000 m (approximately 6 million square feet). Berjaya Times Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is advertised at 700,000 m. SM Mall of Asia in the Philippines, opened in May 2006, is the World's third largest at 386,000 square meters of gross floor area with further expansions still ongoing. The Mall of Arabia inside Dubai Land in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which will open in 2006, will become the largest mall in the world, at 929,000 square meters (10 million sq. feet).

Mall can refer to a shopping mall, which is a place where a collection of shops all adjoin a pedestrian area, or an exclusively pedestrian street, that allows shoppers to walk without interference from vehicle traffic. Mall is generally used in North America and Australasia to refer to large shopping areas, while the term arcade is more often used, especially in Britain, to refer to a narrow pedestrian-only street, often covered or between closely spaced buildings. A larger, often only partly covered but exclusively pedestrian shopping area is in Britain also termed a shopping precinct or pedestrian precinct. The majority of British shopping centers are in town centers, usually inserted into old shopping districts, and surrounding by subsidiary open air shopping streets. A number of large out-of-town "regional malls" such as Meadowhall were built in the 1980s and 1990s, but there are only ten of them or so and current planning regulations prohibit the construction of any more. Out-of-town shopping developments in the UK are now focused on retail parks, which consist of groups of warehouse style shops with individual entrances from outdoors. Planning policy prioritizes the development of existing town centres, although with patchy success.

Regional Mall

A regional mall is a shopping mall which is designed to service a larger area than a conventional shopping mall. As such, it is typically larger, and offers a wider selection of stores. Given its wider service area, these malls tend to have higher-end stores that need a larger area in order for their services to be profitable. Regional malls are also found as tourist attractions in vacation areas.

Super-regional malls are usually shopping centers with over 1 million square feet of retail space and serves as the dominant shopping venue for the region that it serves.

Strip mall

A strip mall (also called a plaza) is a shopping center where the stores are arranged in a row, with a sidewalk in front. Strip malls are typically developed as a unit and have large parking lots in front. They face major traffic arterials and tend to be self-contained with few pedestrian connections to surrounding neighborhoods.

In the U.S., strip malls usually come in two sizes. The smaller variety is more common, and often located at the intersection of major streets in residential areas; they cater to a small residential area. This type of strip mall is found in nearly every city or town in the U.S. They are service-oriented and will often contain a grocery store, video rental store, dry cleaner, small restaurant, and other similar stores. In the past, pharmacies were often located next to the grocery stores, but, now, the drug store is often free-standing in the parking lot. Sometimes, gas stations, banks, and other businesses will also have their own free-standing buildings in the parking lot of the strip center.

The other variety of strip mall in the U.S. has large, big box retailers as the anchors, such as Wal-Mart or Target. They are sometimes referred to as power centers in the real estate development industry because they attract and cater to residents of an entire population area. The type of retailers may vary widely--from electronics to bookstores to home improvement stores. There are typically only a few of these type of strip malls in a city, compared to the grocery store-anchored strip mall. Some of these strip centers may only have three of four of these large retailers in them, while others may have a dozen or more major retailers.

Some strip malls are a hybrid of both of these types.

Strip malls vary widely in architecture. Older strip malls tend to have plain architecture with the stores arranged in a straight row; in some cases there are vacant stores. Newer strip malls are often built with elaborate architecture to blend in with the neighborhood or be more attractive. In some cases, strips malls are broken up into smaller buildings to encourage walking. Sometimes the buildings will wrap around the parking lot to hide the parking from the road or residential areas.

Due to land use issues, strip malls in the United Kingdom are typically found on the edges of cities on greenfield sites, and are known as out of town shopping centres. Ones in more urban areas (often brownfield redeveloped sites) are more typically known as retail parks.

The first shopping center (strip mall) in the United States was the Roland Park Shopping Center in Baltimore, Maryland (1896).

Dead malls and new trends

In the U.S, in recent times, as more modern facilities are built, many early malls have become largely abandoned, due to decreased traffic and tenancy. These deteriorating "dead malls" have failed to attract new business and often sit unused for many years until restored or demolished. Interesting examples of architecture and urban design, these structures often attract people who explore and photograph them. Until the mid-1990s, the trend was to build enclosed malls and to renovate older outdoor malls into enclosed ones. Such malls had advantages such as temperature control. Since then, the trend has turned. It is once again fashionable to build open-air malls, and some enclosed malls have been opened up, such as the Sherman Oaks Galleria. In addition, some malls, when replacing an empty anchor location, have replaced the former anchor store building with the more modern outdoor design, leaving the remainder of the indoor mall intact.

In parts of Canada, it is now rare for new shopping malls to be built, as outdoor outlet malls or big box shopping areas known as power centres are now favored, although the traditional enclosed shopping mall is still much in demand by those seeking weather-protected, all-under-one-roof shopping. In addition the underground interconnections between downtown multi story shopping malls continue to grow in the Underground city of Montreal and the PATH system of Toronto, reaching a total of 32 km of shop-lined pedestrian passages in Montreal and 27 km in Toronto. The numbers do not include the passages inside the many subway stations which also interconnect with the commercial areas.

Legal issues

One controversial aspect of malls has been their effective displacement of traditional main streets. Many consumers prefer malls, with their spacious parking garages, well-maintained walkways, and private security guards, over public streets, which often suffer from limited parking, poor maintenance, and limited police coverage.

In response, a few jurisdictions, notably California, have expanded the right of freedom of speech to ensure that speakers will be able to reach consumers who prefer to shop within the boundaries of privately owned malls. See Pruneyard Shopping Center.

Types of shopping facilities

  • Outlet mall
  • Plaza
  • Market
  • Main street
  • High street
  • Town square
  • Power centre

Components of shopping facilities

Shopping property management firms

  • Premium Outlets
  • The Westfield Group - an Australian owned company with international locations
  • General Growth Properties
  • Simon Property Group
  • The Pyramid Companies
  • Jones Lang LaSalle

Planning concepts

  • Public space
  • Gruen transfer

Branch Automation solution

The Petrol Pump Management Software

The Supermarket Management Software

Mobile Phone Shop Management Software

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