Shopping Centres in Europe

shopping Standard shopping centres have at least one building and it creates a complex of shops interconnected by walkways offering easy access for visitors travelling throughout the shopping’s units. A parking area also is important.

The 1920s brought the modern strip malls, “car-friendly”, corresponding to the rise of suburbs after WWII. Controlled environment theories and “anchor” and “big box” stores concepts were pioneered early in the shopping mall’s history, trying to attract as many customers as possible for all the stores, big or small, hosted under the same roof.

Cultural differences can be found in the shopping world. Europe and Australasia prefers the term of shopping centre, but North America uses predominantly shopping mall, but also shopping precinct or shopping arcade. The difference between these North America terms? Open -air retail complexes are named shopping centers, while malls or shopping malls are the enclosed retail structures. Are you wondering what are the similarities? Both types have vast parking lots, are close to major traffic arterials and only few pedestrian connections in the surrounding neighborhoods.

Shopping mall concept benefited along the history of many innovations that increased even further their popularity and as a result, their sales. The first UK pedestrian shopping area appeared after a road was built in front of the shops. Developers extended further this concept, like Taubman Centers, run by Alfred Taubman, who brought terazzo tiles, indoor fountains inside Short Hills Mall from New Jersey, and also a bigger accessibility for the visitor, that could visit all stores just by making a circuit. A slower customer decreases the sales, so Taubman removed all carpets that he believed were increasing friction along the way of the customer. Another trick that made shoppers hang around longer was the electric lighting of the shopping center, gradually increased as the daylight faded away, appearing as if the afternoon is lasting longer.

Photo credit: infomatique on Flickr