Collection of independent retail stores, services, and parking areas constructed and maintained by a management firm as a unit. It is a 20th-century adaptation of the historical marketplace. In the U.S., postwar migration from cities to suburbs and increased automobile use created a perceived need for centralized shopping facilities. The urban shopping arcade developed out of the need for shelter from the weather; Buffalo, N.Y., and Cleveland, Ohio, have charming trussed and glass-roofed examples. The next generation of shopping malls, the large regional centre sited in a vast sea of parking lots, bears little resemblance to its small, arcaded ancestors. Two of the world's largest malls are the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, and the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn. In recent years large shopping malls have attempted to revive an arcadelike atmosphere, often featuring atriums and balconies.
Variants of SHOPPING MALL
shopping mall or shopping centre
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on shopping mall, visit Britannica.com.
Seen & Heard
What made you look up shopping mall? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.