Shopping malls have been created to replace the top retail stores being located in the old city centres. The shopping mall usually comprises of one or two buildings that have several different floors. Some of the levels will specialize in different types of shopping and the result is that all of the town’s retail requirements can be house in quite a small space. There are unique differences between the shopping malls that are found in Europe as opposed to the ones that are found in Asia. In Europe one of the reasons for their creation has been to take away the traffic congestion away from the city centres. With this in mind many are found on the edge of urban conurbations.
Many are located near to transport networks such as motorway junctions such as Lakeside with is found near Thurrock in Essex. The land in these area is generally much cheaper than inner city land. This means that it is cheaper for retail companies to rent space and also the public will find car parking is easier with more room and a cheaper price to be paid.
The regeneration of the older industrial cities has resulted in many of the older shopping areas relocating to the city’s edge. Many of the inner cities are now pedestrianized and much cleaner than before. However, there are fewer people in there as they have no reason to visit the centre any more. Shopping malls in Asia generally are located in the centres of the Major cities. These are newer cities and currently few Asian cities want to pedestrianize their city centres. They do want to attract as many people as possible into their malls. They have done this in a variety of ways. Terminal 21 is one of Bangkok’s busiest shopping malls and is in the heart of downtown Bangkok.
Within the complex is a large parking space for cars but the most popular method for both workers and customers to get to and from The Terminal is by public transport. The shopping mall is located right on top of both the MRT and the BTS rail lines. The stations of Asok on the MRT and Sukhamvit on the BTS have exits straight into the mall.
There are nine floors with each floor representing a different airport terminal in the world. For example floor 3 is Istanbul airport and all of the retail outlets on that floor are either Turkish or have a close relationship with Turkey. The mall also includes a 42 story hotel, the Centre Point, and is also home to SF Cinema City and a Supermarket. In one of the most congested cities in the world the Thais have managed to cram as much as possible in to this site right in the heart of the city. They currently constructing a similar Mall in the north of Pattaya.
Shopping malls around the world are similar in that are attempting to house all of the retail outlets of a city into one or two buildings. These can include banking services, food outlets, medical facilities and even leisure activities, such as bowling alleys and ice rinks. Such a dense population of outlets means that the rental fees are relatively low in relation to the number of potential customers the malls attract.