KATHMANDU: What is every girl’s wildest fantasy? A gigantic, never-ending shopping mall, what else! Most of these mega-malls are located in Asia, which makes sense since most goods imported into the United States read ‘Made in China’ or ‘Made in Taiwan’. These shopping utopias sell everything.
• West Edmonton Mall in
Edmonton, Canada is North America’s largest shopping mall. It is 5.3 million square feet in gross leasable area and has over 800 stores with over 20,000 parking spaces. The megalopolis of a mall has an indoor amusement park, water park, and miniature gold course. Two movie theatres, an ice skating rink, a petting zoo, a shooting range, and even a casino are all under its roof. The main anchors of the establishment are Sears, The Bay, and Zellers. Future developments for the mall include the expansion of this already enormous monster-mall.
• Seacon Square in Bangkok, Thailand covers 5.5 million square feet opened in 1994. The mall consists of 400 stores including a Tutor Square, amusement park, and fitness center. Its anchors are Robinson Department Store and Tesco Locust. Seacon Square was the target of a terrorist attack on December 31st, 2006. A bomb was found in a trash can on the ground floor of the mall which was removed and taken to the parking lot where it detonated, but no one was harmed.
• Central World in Bangkok, Thailand covers 5.8 million square feet opened in 1990
with 7,000 parking spaces.
Previously called World Trade Center, it was renovated in 2002 to add more stores and an office tower. The anchors of the mall are the Japanese department store Isetan and Zen. Central World has 7 floors with 300 stores including two movie theatres, a 24-lane bowling alley, and a 5-star hotel.
• Golden Resources Mall in Beijing, China has six million square feet of shops on over 6 floors, opened in 2004. Nicknamed the Great Mall of China, this mall faced some difficulties at the beginning. Most of its 1000+ stores did not accept credit cards and many of its merchandise were priced far beyond any average Chinese could afford. It is speculated that it will take 5 years to begin making profits. The mall has a skating rink and a food court the size of two football fields.
• South China Mall in Dongguan, China is the largest mall in the world with over 1,500 stores and 6.5 million square feet, opened in 2005. It has
seven zones, each representing a region of the world: Amsterdam, California, Rome, Paris, the Caribbean, Egypt, and Venice. It has experienced
difficulties just as the Golden Resources Mall has; most of
its retail space has remained empty. Shopping malls seem to pop out of the ground nowadays, and the next one to take the crown will be Dubai Mall in 2008 upon its completion. 9 million square feet including the world’s largest aquarium, an Olympic-sized ice skating rink, and a view of the world’s tallest building (Burj Dubai). Who will take up the task of building the next mega mall bigger than Dubai Mall?
Nobody knows yet.