We are all leery of competition, but imagine having hundreds within just a few minutes walk from your front door.
Here in Orange County our mega-giant mall is South Coast Plaza, with 286 stores under about 2.7M sq feet. Not the largest in the country based on leasable footage, but one of the highest in gross dollar volume at $1.5B annually. When you look at other areas in the country and especially outside the U.S. the numbers of businesses under one roof can be intimating. Malls are not just destination locations for shopping any more, and now offer entertainment and other attractions that you would not typically find at a mall.
Here’s a rundown on what is happening internationally.
Coming in at #1 is New South China Mall with a whopping 7.1 MILLION square feet. It is known as the “ghost mall” since it has but 50 stores open under a roof that can accommodate over 2300 businesses. Built in 2005 it encloses a roller coaster and probably lots of rodents and insects since it is devoid of people.
If you build them will they come? Apparently not.
Number two, also in China (can you say “economic superpower”?) is Golden Resources Mall with 6M sq ft. Doing a bit better economically with more than 1000 spots, it was built in 2004 in Beijing.
Stepping across the China Seas into the Philippines is #3, called SM City North in Quezon City, the former capital. One of the “older malls” in Southeast Asia, it encompasses 5.2M sq ft and was built in 1985.
Staying in the relative vicinity is #4 called 1 Utama in Malaysia, which was built in 2003 and is 5M sq feet.
Moving into another non-US economic superpower region is numbers five and six in Iran and Dubai in the Middle East. Number five is the Persian Gulf with 4.8M sq feet and room for an impressive 2500 tenants at build out. The number in place since completed last year: One.
Number six is doing much better, which is the Dubai Mall, the largest in TOTAL square footage but most of that seems to be parking lot. Be sure to notice your parking spot.
Number nine in #9 Bangladesh(!), Jamuna Park, changes our views on what many of us consider an impoverished country. They must have some money since they build a 4.1M sq ft mall just last year.
A bit closer to home is #11 West Edmonton Mall, Alberta, Canada, which has indoor skating, an amusement park, a casino and a water park. One of the early Super Malls it was built in 1981 and is the largest in North America at 3.77M sq ft and a great place to avoid the weather.
Some of these behemoths get 200,000 visitors per day and are bigger than many cities and even countries as far as dollar volume and foot traffic per day.
And in our own back yard, let’s give a Shout Out to South Coast Plaza which did NOT make the top 20 in size, but is number three in the U.S. based on leasable space, but #1 in volume. And that’s really what it’s all about: the money.
So next time you complain about your block or about infringement on your turf, make a note of some of the really competitive markets worldwide.
If you’d like a visual slideshow of these visit: