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These shopping centre giants are amongst the largest stand-alone commercial property sites in the world. So, whether you’re a window-shopper, a retail therapy fanatic or an architectural admirer, here are six huge shopping centres from across the globe to savour.
Berjaya Times Square, Malaysia
Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Berjaya Times Square is a 48-storey building that claims the title of being “the world’s largest building ever built in a single phase”. One of the largest retail complexes in the world also features an indoor amusement park, numerous business offices, luxury service suites and an IMAX 3D movie theatre.
Visited by locals and tourists all year round, the BTS is often described as a sophisticated flea market, because of its local produce and relatively low prices. The shopping centre has plenty to offer for its visitors, containing over 1000 retail shops and 65 food outlets, the building is also in the top ten rankings for floor area with an incredible measurement of 7,500,000 sq. ft of floor space.
West Edmonton Mall, Canada
Once the record-holder as the largest shopping centre in the world covering a gross area of 5,300,000 sq. ft, West Edmonton Mall, in Alberta, still retains many other property titles. It is currently home to the world’s largest indoor amusement park, indoor roller coaster, indoor lake, as well as the largest indoor waterpark across the Americas. The complex is as much a centre for entertainment as it is shopping, also featuring an 18-hole miniature golf course, a movie theatre and a huge bowling alley.
It comes as no surprise with the plethora of options available to customers, that the WEM receives 32 million visitors each year, levelling out at between 90,000 to 200,000 shoppers every day. With these impressive statistics, it is inevitable that this complex is the most valuable property in Edmonton, with a worth of over $1bn Canadian dollars.
Dubai Mall, United Arab Emirates
The Dubai Mall, located close to the Burj Khalifa and covering over 13,000,000 sq. ft, is often described as a paradise for the serious shopper. Attracting over 750,000 visitors every week, it was once the most visited building on the planet. The shopping centre is well known for its beautiful design, including its gold souk, which is Dubai’s largest gold market, and for hosting its internationally renowned shopping festival each year.
Dubai Mall optimises the shoppers’ experience by offering luxury services including, porter service, personal shoppers, and valet parking. If this isn’t enough to impress its visitors, it also has the Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo which showcases more than 300 species of marine animals.
Galeries Lafayette, France
Galeries Lafayette, in Paris, is one of the most beautiful shopping centres in the world. It is widely revered for its astounding nouveau architecture, which features an incredibly elaborate dome with panoramic views across the city. This historic building offers an upmarket shopping experience, including a huge variety of fashion, luxury, accessories, home and gourmet stores across more than 3500 popular brands. Its reputation has led to it hosting a 30-minute fashion show on Friday afternoons, which is free to all its visitors.
Galeries Lafayette holds an impressive number of luxury brands, with Chanel, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Saint Laurent, Cartier, Chaumet, Delvaux, Fauré Page, Loewe, Longchamp, Sisley, Hermes, Diptyque, and L’Occitaine, being just a few.
Puerto Venecia, Spain
Puerto Venecia owes its name to its unique design, the canal that runs through the district features gondola rides bringing a Venetian feeling to the complex. The shopping centre is home to 150 stores, multiple restaurants and cinemas, a sports area, and an amusement park.
The designed combination of outside areas, inside shopping and its man-made water feature has created the perfect formula for customer satisfaction. In recent years, the relatively small Puerto Venecia won the international award for Best Retail and Leisure Centre in the World. Since this acclaim, the complex has seen an increase of over a million people visiting each year!
South China Mall, China
Last on our list is the infamous South China Mall. The building in Dongguan was designed to be the largest shopping centre in the world, with more gross leasable area than any other centre in the world. However, the site remained mostly empty for over a decade, and with very few retailers signing up to occupy its spaces, the SCM was dubbed the ‘dead mall’ or ‘ghost mall’ by many people.
The centre has a staggering 7,100,000 sq. ft of leasable space, enough for around 2,300 stores to occupy. Although things have started to turn around in recent years (a majority of retail spaces have now been filled) it is doubtful that the South China Mall has fulfilled the promise of its huge design and $1.3bn investment.
The mammoth shopping centres on this list provide more than one-stop shopping; they present a retail experience to their visitors. Ranging from indoor waterparks and gondola rides to gold markets and nouveau interiors, these commercial property heavyweights are as unique as they are large. With the demands of shoppers increasing and the architecture of buildings evolving, it seems that commercial properties will always provide new and interesting ways to keep people shopping!
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