A mall is a building or a group of connected buildings forming a complex of multiple stores in various floors and representing merchandise or brands. The stores are interconnected through walkways that allow the shoppers to navigate through the mall. A typical shopping mall houses boutiques, department stores, photography studios, food courts, arcades, lounges, and most important, ample parking space for those with vehicles.
Malls have been there a long while, from way back in the 1900’s, but they have significantly evolved over the years. In the yester years, they comprised of huge enclosed buildings but modern malls are far bigger constituting several buildings and even occupying several hectares of land. There are different kinds of malls such as fashion malls catering for high-end clientele, community centers, lifestyle centers, outlet centers where product manufactures sell products directly to consumers, regional centers, and festival malls that cater for tourists usually found in urban centers. All of malls mentioned grow in size respectively.
People enjoy visiting malls for both formal and recreational issues. Such activities include private meetings, social activities and functions. Malls offer a safe environment where parents can bring their young children to have fun as a family, playing opportunities for children in amusement parks, and fashion shows for fashion lovers alike.
Malls have been appreciated over the years, and since the 1970’s they have enabled women to have a greater role in controlling the house’s financial budget. This is mainly due to the fact that they are the ones who do most of the shopping. In the economic sense, malls have over the years provided employment for millions of people thus enabling parents to put their children through school and also meet their day to day needs. People love malls because they save on their time, energy and expense since they can fulfill all their need for goods and services at the same place.
Malls have also played a crucial role in cultural exchange because malls they enable people from different cultural backgrounds to meet and interact. They also allow people from different social standing to come together. Malls have also done a great deal for small businesses since they benefit from the overall structure of the mall by operating their retail stores. The government authorities like these enterprises because they are a great source of revenue thus contributing majorly to the economy.
Developers have continuously sought for ways to attract customers to shopping malls, and one of the ways was to introduce entertainment spots such as amusement parks for children, fashion shows for fashion enthusiasts, skating rinks, clubbing spots among others. Malls also house recreational facilities such as movie theaters, gymnasiums and bowling alleys where people go to enjoy themselves after a day’s job, relax with friends and family or enjoy some exciting indoor games. There are also all sorts of games and sports suitable for children of various ages such as racing games, swimming among others.
Malls have several advantages and disadvantages. The major benefit offered by malls is the fact that customers are able to do all their shopping and other activities under one roof. Customers also get the opportunity to walk around the various stores and compare prices, and access a wide assortment of good and services which ensures they make informed choices on the good they buy. The fact that most malls are usually under one roofed building ensures that customers and store owners do not have to worry about weather conditions that may inconvenience them or damage their good respectively. Food is also readily available since malls have hotels and restaurants that sell snacks, fast food, and full meals.
It is much more likely for customers to find what they are looking for in a shopping mall than when they go from shop to shop in the streets. This is due to the fact that a mall consolidates all franchises under a single roof thus reducing the likelihood of missing a product. Malls also increase customer traffic thus leading to more social interaction, and also afford customers the opportunity to combine shopping with entertainment.
Shopping malls also have various disadvantages such as insecurity due to the large number of people; different stores also tend to sell the same merchandise which brings about unhealthy competition among the store owners. Some mall management practices may also not be conducive for small business people, and this makes it tough for them to acquire selling space. On the other hand, retailers may not want the management of the mall to interfere with their business or pose restrictions to how they operate on issues such as closing hours among other issues.
Crowding can be a problem on the weekends or holidays when the malls are crowded. This inconveniences vehicle owners who have a hard time finding parking spots or exiting the mall after finishing their activities since they are blocked by other parked vehicles. Customers may also end up forgetting to buy an item they really need since traversing an overcrowded mall is quite a challenge. Shopping malls could also prove to be difficult for the elderly and disabled persons to venture into and shop due to their sheer expansiveness, multiple level floors and overcrowding. Lastly, goods sold in malls tend to be more expensive than in other places, and customers tend to spend more money in malls than they initially intended to because the stores are filled with enticing products. For this reason, users end up acquiring items they do not need.
Conclusively, shopping malls are a part of the driving force of the economy and their benefits greatly outweigh their disadvantages. In a social context, malls provide entertainment, shape people’s culture and create a way for people to interact with other. Economically, malls provide employment, revenues for governments and also help in the growth of urban center since they provide people with opportunity to receive services and have fun at the same time.
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