What's the Difference Between a Mall and a Shopping Center?

A mall and a shopping center are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference between the two. While they may appear to be the same, there are some key distinctions that set them apart. A mall is a type of shopping center, which is a North American term that originally meant a pedestrian walkway with stores along it. In the late 1960s, it began to be used as a generic term for large shopping centers anchored by department stores, especially closed centers.

A shopping mall is usually an enclosed space that contains many stores that sell merchandise to the public. However, it doesn't necessarily have to be an enclosed space; it can be an outdoor mall, a shopping mall, or a pedestrian street. Shopping malls are defined as gated properties with a central walkway where retail storefronts face each other. The strip centers do not include closed corridors.

Retail storefronts are connected by common walkways and are typically configured in a straight line, in an L or U shape. Both configurations include on-site parking for shoppers. Outlet centers are some of the most popular retail shopping destinations in the United States due to discounts on well-known brands. For a mall to be considered an energy center, at least 75 to 90% of the available retail space must be dedicated to main stores.

The anchor stores of fashion centers are usually luxury department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman or Saks. If you asked five people to describe a mall, you would most likely end up with at least 2 or 3 very different answers. Often remodeled in urban environments inside old buildings, these malls are characterized by a unifying theme. Shopping malls can sell a variety of products, such as clothing, jewelry, electronics, toys, household items, and food. Therefore, a shopping mall can have a variety of stores around an outdoor esplanade reserved for foot traffic, or it can be a large suburban building or a group of buildings containing several stores. In conclusion, while malls and shopping centers may appear to be the same thing at first glance, they actually have some key differences that set them apart.

Malls are enclosed spaces with many stores that sell merchandise to the public while shopping centers are gated properties with retail storefronts connected by common walkways. Outlet centers are also popular retail destinations due to discounts on well-known brands.