Shopping malls, also known as shopping centres, or shopping plazas, or shopping centre, is an organized set of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and other indoor facilities designed, built, and maintained by a commercial real estate management company as part of a mixed-use project. Shopping centres are highly urbanized areas where consumers shop for a variety of products at reasonable rates. They can be the most inexpensive place to shop, offering the greatest choice, but have the most crowded conditions with limited or no open air seating. Shopping centres are rapidly declining in numbers as consumers increasingly choose home shopping, visiting neighbourhood shopping malls and local farmer’s markets for all their needs. As a result of this trend, shopping centres, in many locations, are being converted into condos, townhouses, apartments, and privately owned shops and boutiques.
Shopping malls are designed to provide efficient access to shopping facilities, including the provision of elevators, waiting areas, restrooms, snack bars, aisles, public transportation, souvenir shops, television, video game shops, shopping carts, gift shops, pharmacies, banks, video windows, AC chargers, telephone services and more. Many feature enclosed pedestrian malls and enclosed entry ways. Shopping centres in cities, such as Toronto, have been created in malls to attract high-end shoppers.
Shopping malls have come under increasing pressure from some local governments, who have threatened to close them if they are unable to raise the revenues to pay for their operations. This issue has been addressed by mall owners through the creation of mixed-use centres, or shopping malls, which contain multiple uses and multiple businesses. Shopping malls in Vancouver are one example of a mixed-use centre. In this case, the retail shops in the mall are used primarily for the operation of food service, while the eating places are used primarily for entertainment. These shopping malls have helped to raise the tax base for Canadian industries, while also providing local communities with additional revenue.
Shopping malls are extremely popular with families and individuals, because they offer a convenient way to purchase goods. Families can spend quality time together, while children can participate in activities provided at the mall. While many people may not see a problem with this arrangement, some do; especially when the store hours coincide with the school hours of children. The result is that children will be spending much of their time shopping, when they could be attending or playing in a nearby park, for example.
Some people may find it problematic that there is no independent shopping available at shopping malls. Independent stores usually sell products that are not offered at mall shopping centers. There is no reason to believe that shoppers will not make money purchasing items from independent sellers, since most independent sellers have high overhead costs and salespeople, while shopping malls have salespeople, rentiers and managers. Shopping malls also have policies concerning sales of tickets to outside vendors, which does not apply to independent sellers.
The creation of shopping malls has contributed to the increase in total retail space available. The mall allows retailers to increase their presence in the community. The creation of shopping centres has created new business opportunities for those who own them. Many of these owners have invested part of their profits into other retail businesses, resulting in an increase in overall income and profits for their family-run businesses.