A shopping mall or shopping centre is a group of buildings which contains a wide range of retail units. These units are attached with each other through interconnecting paseos, which enable visitors to walk easily from one unit to another. It is a place where an assembly of shops allow shoppers to walk without interference from vehicle traffic. They are surrounded by a parking space.
Various names are used for shopping centers across the world. The name 'Shopping center' is specially used in Europe and Australasia. In North America, the word 'shopping mall' is predominantly used. Shopping mall is also used to a large extent in Asian countries. Some other terms like Shopping precinct and shopping arcade are also in use in various parts of the world.
Classes of Malls Malls can be classified on the area covered by them. Apart from other services and facilities at a mall, regional and super-regional malls often include office space, residential space, amusement parks, etc.
- Regional Malls: A regional mall covers a larger area than a conventional shopping mall. Typically it is spread over 400,000 square feet to 800,000 square feet. They offer a large selection of stores. These malls have generally more number of end-stores that need a larger area in order for their services to be profitable. They are also a favourite tourist destination in vacation areas.
- Super-regional Malls: A super-regional mall is a larger mall than regional malls covering 800,000 square feet area. It serves as the dominant shopping venue for the region in which it is located.
- Outlet Malls: An outlet mall/Outlet centre is a type of shopping mall in which manufacturers sell their own products directly to the people through their own stores.
Components of a Mall The concept of a shopping mall has changed in last few decades. From being only a shopping place, it has turned out to a place for fun and enjoy. Earlier only food courts and department stores were the parts of a shopping center or mall. Due to that, people concerned mainly with shopping used to come in malls. To attract more crowd to these malls movie theaters, and fun-zones have beem introduced. Now malls have become places to spend leisure time and in turn the revenue of malls are increasing too. If we talk about the components of a shopping mall or shopping center, then it mainly includes Department store and Food court along with multiplexes and fun zones.
- Food Court: Food court is a type of place inside a mall (it is found at other places as well) with contiguous counters of multiple food vendors and a common area for self-serve dining. They consists of several stalls offering varieties of cuisines.
- Department Stores: For the proper running of a mall, signing of large department stores are necessary for the financial stability of the project. They also help to draw retail traffic that results in visit to the smaller stores in the mall, which prove beneficial for them. The larger stores are called anchor store or draw tenant.
- Multiplexes: Multiplexes or movie theaters have become an integral part of shopping malls. They consist of three and mode screens and show many films at a time. Thus people who want to enjoy their weekends or holidays like to come in malls.
- Fun-Zones: To specially attract children, the shopping malls have come up with entertainment and fun-zones.