A shopping mall is a modern North American term for a form of a shopping center or shopping precinct. This is a building in a complex where more than one shops represent different merchandisers that have interconnecting walkways. This enables the customers to walk from one unit to another without a need to move to a new building.
A shopping arcade is a specific type of shopping center which is distinguished for shopping using connecting walkways that are not owned by any single proprietor and is present in the open air. In 2017 shopping malls accounted for 8% of the retailing space in the United States.
Many early shopping centers such as London’s Burlington Arcade, Milan’s Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and various others in Paris are still trading and are very famous. However, there are various smaller arcades, that have been demolished and been replaced by large centers of malls, which are accessible, by vehicle. Escalators and Electric Lightning technological innovations were introduced in the 19th century in shopping malls.
From 20th century, malls have started adding several entertainment venues like restaurants and movie theaters as well as gaming zones in their premises. Early shopping centers are often architecturally significant constructions, which are mostly single built structure. In earlier times they enabled wealthy patrons to buy the goods in spaces, which are protected from weather, but now they are popular in every section of society.
First mall of India
Spencer Plaza is the first shopping mall in India. This is located on Anna Salai area in Chennai, Tamil Naduof India. This is one of the modern landmarks of the city. This was originally built in the period of British Raj and then again reconstructed in 1985 on the original site of Spencer departmental store. This is the oldest shopping mall in India and was the biggest shopping mall in South Asia at earlier times when it was built. It is one of the oldest Grade A commercial project in the city. This mall was developed in the second half of the 1990s. In March 2010 this mall became the 11thlargest in the country having the gross area of 530,000 sq. ft.
What is keeping the malls of India ticking? The top-performing shopping malls of today are having a mix of businesses. They are incorporating social entertainment too and provides a unique appeal along with fabulous shopping experience. They are located in prime destinations and are easily accessible by private and public transport. The ability to anticipate and align the customer’s changing needs makes the malls more successful today. With this considerable progress, the Indian malls will evolve, further in future.
E-commerce and malls
Today not a single mall is solely depending on the shopping as its prime source of revenue generation. Nor they will survive just based on crowd pullers. Malls are needed to transform the community spaces and have to stay relevant to the increasing demands of Indian customers. With the advent of e-commerce websites that are offering huge discounts and offers, the demand for shopping in malls is decreasing. This is because e-commerce is time-saving too.
With the growth of mobile apps and e-commerce there is a lot of competition for shopping malls. But the human touch and see factor cannot be replaced completely. Hence shopping malls continue to attract people even today and in the future too.