shopping mall

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Galeries Lafayette , Paris, 2009

A shopping center , also shopping mall / shopping mall (short mall ), shopping center / shopping center or shopping center , is a spatial and organizational concentration of retail stores and service providers from different industries and possibly other offers such as fitness centers or cinemas.

Events in shopping centers are often borne by the retailers.

Definition of terms

Based on the US definition of the shopping center , a shopping center in the narrower sense is an " agglomeration of retail and service businesses that is planned, built and managed as a unit ".

This is to be distinguished from the “grown” agglomerations, also known as shopping parks , trading parks, without a uniform concept and without their own center management, in the sense of a commercial area .

Compared to department stores or department stores, shopping centers are differentiated from the fact that the operators there do not trade on their own account, but only act as landlords and center management. In the case of a department store, on the other hand, the operator usually connects the goods business with the management of real estate on his own account.

The English expression shopping mall is often equated with shopping center . A mall actually only describes the main walkways with adjacent sales areas (for the origin of the word, see Pall Mall ). Shopping centers over 100,000 m² are also called megamall .

According to B. Hahn, the mall is a covered and air-conditioned shopping center. It is one of the obsolete models in the USA, as consumers there prefer open construction methods that can be built more cheaply. The first mall was built in 1956 near Minneapolis.

There are many definitions of terms, the Austrian professional association for shopping centers defines the classic shopping center / shopping mall as a uniformly planned and managed property occupied by a large number of independent retail, service and catering establishments. The following minimum size and minimum number of establishments were determined:

  • 4,000 m² of lettable space and at least 20 businesses or
  • 4,000 m² of rentable space and at least ten companies, provided that there are at least two magnet companies from different industries.

This is to avoid that hypermarkets with a small shop bar, whose function is almost exclusively to cover short-term needs, distort the picture. The centers at the lower limit of the area included in the documentation, on the other hand, fulfill the qualitative function of a shopping center, ie "shopping" for selected goods (e.g. clothing, shoes, household items, electrical and electronic goods, etc.). In international definitions, the lower limit of the rentable area is often set at 10,000 m².

The Federal Administrative Court accepts a shopping center within the meaning of the Building Utilization Ordinance if "there is a spatial concentration of retail businesses of various types and sizes - mostly in combination with different types of service providers - which is either planned uniformly or is shown as 'grown' in a different way".

Shopping centers are considered to be the main competitors to shopping streets .


The shopping arcade as an independent building type in the 19th century: Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II , built in Milan from 1865

An ancient forerunner of the shopping centers or market halls were the Trajan's markets in ancient Rome (built in 143). In the 19th century, the passages developed into an independent inner-city building type. Simple shopping centers have been designed and built in the United States since the 1930s. You should simulate an inner-city, European ambience there, since in the USA - unlike in Europe - large shops were not located in the center of the town, but were scattered along the arterial roads (strips) . It wasn't until 1956 that the Southdale Center near Minneapolis became the world's first shopping center integrated in a single building. It was planned by the Austrian architect Victor Gruen , who emigrated to the USA and is considered a pioneer of today's modern and complex shopping centers. The concept of finding numerous retailers of various products in one place, in a shopping mall, which was new in the USA until then, spread very quickly due to its great popularity. With around 43,000 shopping centers today, accounting for 55% of total retail sales, the United States has the largest number of shopping centers in the world.

Despite the lower suburbanization effects in Europe, however , this form of retail trade has also established itself here as part of the trend towards a car-friendly city . In addition to integrated car parking spaces, this offers the consumer the advantage of a wide range of shops that are often coordinated with one another ( branch mix ) and shopping regardless of the weather. The first shopping center in Germany was the Main-Taunus-Zentrum in Sulzbach near Frankfurt am Main , which opened in 1964 , and the first fully air-conditioned, two-storey shopping center in Europe was followed in 1967 by the Danube shopping center in Regensburg . In Vienna , the first exhibition and shopping center (AEZ) was built in 1957 in the city center, where several shops were built on the roof of the Wien-Landstrasse train station, now Wien-Mitte. From the eighties, often following the tradition of the arcades of the 19th century, the first shopping centers came to the city centers. In addition, a multi-dimensional use was made possible, i. This means that apartments or medical practices were integrated.

Taking Berlin as an example, it can be observed that the growing number of new malls, the resulting competition and competition with online retail represent a major challenge for the shopping center concept.

Typing and location

SCS - Shopping City Süd Wien, one of the largest shopping centers in Europe (approx. 173,000 m², 1976)

In the specialist literature, various typifying features of shopping centers are given:

Main catchment area / size and coverage of the population

  • Neighborhood center: small-scale catchment area with approx. 10,000–15,000 inhabitants, goods and services for daily or short-term needs, sales area 2,500–5,000 m²
  • Community or district center: catchment area with 40,000–150,000 inhabitants, goods and services for short and medium-term needs, sales area 8,000–12,000 m²
  • Regional center: catchment area across an entire city including the surrounding area, goods and services for short, medium and long-term needs, sales area 30,000–70,000 m²
  • Super regional center: sales area over 75,000 m², supra-regional catchment area

Location to the city or settlement center

In Germany, an integrated center is a shopping center that is integrated into established settlement structures. It is located in the densely built-up urban area or on a shopping street. A non-integrated center, on the other hand, was built on the proverbial “ green field ” on the periphery or on the high-ranking road network in the city's surroundings.

Structural design of the center or the retail agglomeration

Closed center, covered mall

In closed centers, the business premises are located in one building. They are accessed through a common area, the mall. The center is facing inwards, the shops have their displays facing the mall. The first of these shopping centers were clearly closed from the outside, mostly there was no daylight. Since the 1990s, closed malls with glass roofs have increasingly been "opened" to the outside.

Row of shops, retail park

In the row of shops there are several shops in a common structural unit. The development and orientation of the displays takes place in the direction of the parking lot or the street. This form is particularly common today in the United States, where one-piece shop units are known as strip malls . For retail parks, see retail park .

Specialist zone

Specialist market zones are a collection of several specialist markets on sites close to one another. Structurally, the buildings do not form a unit. The plots / parking spaces of the specialist stores are often separated from one another. Functionally, however, they form a commercial agglomeration.

Magnet tenants / tenant mix

"Classic" shopping center

The "classic" shopping center follows the operating concept of a few magnet businesses ( anchor tenants ) and numerous other retail, service and catering businesses that indirectly benefit from the attractiveness of magnet businesses. The magnet businesses in the form of hypermarkets or hypermarkets, department stores and large specialist markets serve as frequency generators. They pull customers into the center. The other companies benefit from the customer frequency. The magnet operations are arranged in the center in such a way that customers pass the “frequency users” on the way to or between them.

Factory outlet center

At factory outlet centers , manufacturers of branded goods rent retail space in order to sell their own products directly to consumers at reduced prices. Factory outlet is therefore not a trade, but a direct sale from manufacturers to customers. The goods on offer are significantly cheaper than in retail. Mostly it concerns goods from production surpluses, goods of the "last season", discontinued models or (slightly) faulty goods. The brand names serve as a customer magnet, the clothing industry is usually dominated.

Power center

Power center is a type of operation that is currently limited to the USA. In this type, the magnet tenants take the predominant share (60% to 90%). As a rule, these are discount-oriented specialist stores that offer a wide range of products at low prices over a large area. Due to their market position, these companies are also referred to as “category killers”. In the USA, centers of this type with a peripheral location on the high-ranking road network have already become threatening competitors for regional shopping centers.

Topic Center

Theme centers include retail and service businesses that either belong to a specific product group (e.g. designer furniture) or that offer goods and services related to a specific topic. The magnetic effect is based on the specialization on a topic.

Urban entertainment center

Urban entertainment centers are geared towards entertainment, leisure and adventure in combination with retail offers. The term “urban” is misleading insofar as these centers can be found both in inner-city locations and in peripheral locations. “Urban” refers more to the conceptual design of an urban atmosphere. Typical components of a UEC are multiplex cinema, musical theater, discotheque or theater in combination with fast food and themed gastronomy and themed retail. Additional offers can be bowling, fitness, amusement arcade, casino or galleries and museums. The Mall of America is a prime example of this . But not all projects for an urban entertainment center were implemented as planned, some only have a short lifespan, such as the Space Park Bremen .

Entrance area to the Space Center within the Space Park Bremen in 2004


The coordination of the businesses, also known as the branch mix , is essential for customer acceptance . In centers of the usual size (around 20,000–40,000 m²), so-called magnets or anchor tenants are used, which alone attract numerous customers, so that the center is well attended. These magnets are usually placed at the opposite ends or in the middle of the shopping center in order to "suck in" the customers in the shopping center. It has now become established that these magnets are large-scale grocery stores, fashion stores and specialty stores for consumer electronics. In between, smaller shops are grouped, which proportionally pay significantly higher rents per square meter than the anchor tenants themselves. All sectors requested by the consumer are covered. This branch mix has been optimized and standardized over decades to such an extent that it hardly differs from one another in different centers and the offerings of the centers are often interchangeable. The mix is ​​usually only adjusted in terms of price to the purchasing power of the target customers. The location of the shops and catering facilities in relation to one another in the center is also important, and is controlled in a targeted manner by the center management.

The importance of magnets for the success of a shopping center is so fundamental that the signature of the relevant tenant is usually the prerequisite for submitting a building application. If it is not possible to find suitable tenants, investors threaten to leave, and that usually means the end of the project. But even centers that have been established for years are threatened with gradual decline if an anchor tenant ceases to exist (e.g. due to bankruptcy of the retail chain, merger with another retail chain that operates a different house nearby or other business decisions), which in turn makes it more difficult to find new tenants for the vacated space (especially the anchor).

Breuningerland shopping center in Ludwigsburg in the immediate vicinity of the A 81

The rent can consist of a share of the turnover in connection with a minimum rent . The shops can use a common infrastructure . The advertising is often, for together. B. carried out in the form of an advertising association. To do this, the shops must follow the rules of the operator, e.g. B. regarding opening times or joint discount campaigns .

A major advantage from the customer's point of view are usually the easy accessibility and the generously dimensioned parking areas. The operators therefore pay particular attention to the fact that the centers have clear and easy-to-use underground car parks. There are studies that show that the majority of customers enter many shopping centers not from the street but from the underground car park. The type of shopping center has been optimized in the last few decades to such an extent that specialized developers largely specify the floor plan and design of the building, while external architects - if at all - only consulted them for the design of the facades and the urban integration required by the municipalities become.

According to a study by HafenCity University Hamburg, the profitability of the shopping center increases with the number of stores. If the number of shops is doubled from 40 to 80 with identical rental space , the trading profit triples from 7.7% to 23% for center developers.


Largest shopping mall in East Asia (Super Brand Mall, Shanghai, China)
Shopping center in Dalian (China)
A shopping mall in Jakarta (Indonesia)
Cevahir Mall in Istanbul (Turkey)
The "Mühltor-Center" is a smaller shopping center in Ilmenau

The size of the shopping malls is based on the shopping areas and some stores can be as large as hundreds. In larger centers, entertainment options are often integrated, such as cinemas or restaurants . As a rule, a shopping center is a facility with rented sales areas of 10,000 m² or more. When deciding on size, it is important to exceed a critical mass in the respective market environment in order to become an attractive starting point. The local size should guarantee a priority position in the market in order to direct the flow of consumers into the center in sufficient density. The locally required size for this can vary depending on the environment. Above a sales area of ​​approx. 800 m², building rights can only be quickly created in Germany if core areas (MK) or special areas (SO) are identified in the development plan . On the other hand, the size of the individual shops can be limited by building regulations.


Criticism comes from the growing business world in the inner cities and from the neighboring cities, as the shopping centers deduct purchasing power , employment and trade tax income from surrounding cities. For example, several cities (including Essen ) tried by legal means to prevent a building permit granted by the city of Oberhausen for an expansion of the CentrO shopping center in Oberhausen . The Federal Administrative Court dismissed the action in the final instance .

The basic conflict between shopping centers and grown inner cities consists in the large-scale plannability of all processes, structures and atmospheres within the shopping centers, whereas the inner cities as a free conglomerate of unrelated property owners and retailers are subject to unplanned structural change. Within the center, everything can be completely controlled through rental incentives, the psychologically clever location of certain areas, offers and brands. On the other hand, there are no regulatory mechanisms for the public area of ​​the pedestrian zones except for mutual market behavior without coordination and integration. The inner cities, which are already unable to offer any protection against the weather and undesirable people, are at the mercy of the perfectly organized competition between the consumer worlds in the privatized centers. This process itself is at the same time double-edged, as new shopping centers in the city centers represent a replacement for aging department stores and attract new customers to the city centers. Many municipalities occasionally see new shopping centers as the salvation for their structurally weak city centers.

Before reunification, there were virtually no shopping centers in the new federal states of Germany. After 1990, these emerged in large numbers on the green field , which led to a considerable outflow of purchasing power from the inner cities. The background to this building boom at the gates of the cities was the rapid availability of building land. Plots in the inner cities were often blocked by lengthy restitution procedures and other property difficulties. While in the old federal states a coordinated system of regional and zoning plans stipulated where new retail agglomerations may be shown, these had to be set up in the new federal states. Up until then, many municipalities had carried out corresponding designations without coordination, even if this was counterproductive for spatial planning.

If shopping centers generate good sales, these can decrease in neighboring locations. This often leads to a drastic drop in rents there. With the advance of large commercial areas from the green field into the historical centers of medium-sized cities, questions of monument preservation are also affected. Sometimes the clearing of the areas required for a center settlement leads to the demolition of individual monuments; centers almost always pose problems for the preservation of historical local and urban structures. In some cases, parts of memorials are preserved and a center is faded in, for example the shell of the former royal mine administration in Saarbrücken, which opened in 2010.

In addition to the convenience of the various shops offered under one roof, the better parking facilities also attract many buyers to the shopping centers. In some larger shopping centers, the entrance to the underground car park is the actual “main entrance” of the center, as up to 70% of customers come with their own car and so do not even enter the immediate vicinity of the shopping center. Ultimately, this can lead to the desolation of previous city centers if the city and retail trade do not find common ways to increase the attractiveness of inner cities (e.g. through traffic and parking space concepts, attractive design of streets and pedestrian zones, joint advertising, etc.). Newer concepts against the disintegration of inner cities are so-called Business Improvement Districts, as they first emerged in America to save traditional “Main Street structures” from the major centers. Here, legal and economic communities with binding regulations are formed on a legal basis, which enable measures in public space to be partially planned through to rental management or the avoidance of vacancies. The surrounding municipalities also often suffer from the traffic load and the space taken up by parking spaces if a center was built without taking into account the capacity of the existing traffic routes. The income usually only stays in one of the municipalities . The competitive pressure is also very high in the centers, so that it is not uncommon for businesses in the shopping centers to go bankrupt . Similar to the inner cities of this competition favors the branch operations of retail.

To counteract the mentioned negative developments, there are attempts to shopping centers on greenfield by appropriately coordinated planning ( regional planning , regional plans , land use plans and development plans ) to prevent or at least in size and / or range limit. For this purpose, the legislators have often issued special regulations ( large-scale retail trade ) (in Germany, for example, Section 11 BauNVO ; retail decree NRW or in Austria the development plans of the individual federal states). The case law of the administrative courts has also dealt intensively with the problem over the past 20 years.

Special forms

As Megamall ( Engl. For mega shopping mall) is called a very large shopping center. Most megamalls have more than 100,000 m² of retail space or more than 150 shops.

Factory outlet centers, which first appeared in the UK , are another special form of shopping center . In these centers, manufacturers in the fashion industry in particular have stores that sell goods from the previous season at reduced prices.

Fixed market halls with fixed, shop-like market stalls, as they can still be found in some large cities and have now been closed in many places and converted into event halls, are practically the forerunners of shopping centers . However, the market hall concept has recently been used more frequently for the establishment of mostly smaller shopping centers. Many Eastern European department stores are located somewhere between the market hall and the shopping center. The well-known GUM department store in Moscow is strictly speaking one of the oldest shopping centers and, with its covered, multi-storey passage, corresponds exactly to the typical image of a modern shopping center.


Wyzwolenia Street by the Galaxy shopping and entertainment center in the center of Szczecin

In the meantime, many European shopping centers have turned into new local centers for the suburban areas of the cities. Due to the peculiarities of these peripheral areas ( land consumption , mainly motorized individual traffic (MIT)), these new centers heat up the flow of traffic in the suburbs. Tangential traffic around the city is gaining in importance compared to traffic flows into the center. This trend began as early as 1970 - but only now became noticeable through the constant line-up of shopping centers and specialist retail centers in these areas. The consequence of this is the need for essential modifications to the urban transport systems.

For a long time, local public transport (ÖPNV) led a Sleeping Beauty existence , while the flows of individual traffic shifted significantly. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the shopping centers are oriented towards motorized vehicles. City communities are now starting to make appropriate adjustments in cooperation with their surrounding areas, as the process has already achieved such a dynamic of its own that a trend reversal can no longer be achieved with a revaluation of the old city ​​center as a shopping center.

To necessary deflections to achieve and reducing the dimension of the traffic flows, trying to modal shift in favor of public transport. Some planners and politicians expect the city center to be made more attractive from the levying of traffic excitation charges. Such measures are viewed by the shopping center operators as contradicting the principle of equality. An example of such a shopping center is the Sihl City in Zurich , which opened in 2007 and has its own bus stop in the basement as well as an S-Bahn stop and only has a small parking garage.

In recent years, such requests have often failed due to the resistance of the merchants in the city centers, who were rightly concerned that the better public transport connections could make the shopping centers even more attractive. In order to counteract the devaluation of the city centers, attempts were made to make the inner cities more attractive for motorized vehicles ( underground garages ) and thus reduced ( traffic jams ) the attractiveness of local public transport and thus their most important transport links. A vicious circle began that is still ongoing today.




The East shows a special development in Germany. A considerably larger part of the retail space in the surrounding areas of the cities and municipalities is located here. The projects developed here are among the newest and largest in Germany, as they were built particularly generously on the "green field" after the political change. At that time, there were no comparable inner-city locations with the facilities. In more densely populated Central Germany, there is a very high density of shopping centers in the greater Dresden area, in the Halle / Leipzig area and in the Chemnitz and Erfurt regions. Only in Dresden now seems to be trying to stop the “green field” trend with a few large centers (e.g. Altmarktgalerie, Centrumgalerie) in the inner city area. However, Dresden already has a disproportionately high sales area for wholesalers and retailers compared to other major German cities.

In the shopping center report of the EHI and the German Council of Shopping Centers in the summer of 2006, the situation is presented as such that the operators of shopping centers have rediscovered Germany's inner cities as preferred locations. After years of pushing the green field, significantly more centers are now opening in the inner cities. For the period 1964 to 2000, the proportion of the location downtown was 45.7%; For the new openings in 2004/2005, this value is now 65.0%, while the proportion of inner-city locations was 24.4% ten years ago. This trend applies equally to large cities, medium- sized towns and bacon belt locations . The latter in particular are realizing more and more that city centers are often a suitable means of tying up wasting purchasing power. In addition, modern centers can also bring impulses to established retail scenes.

At the same time, the average size of new shopping center openings is decreasing. On average, the rentable area is currently 23,368 m² per property; it has decreased by 4.3% since 2000.

The number of shopping centers (according to the current EHI definition, a size of 10,000 m² or more is taken into account) in Germany rose from 93 to 372 between 1990 and 2006, and the total area rose from 2.8 million m² to 11.7 million m². In the last two years alone, 20 centers with a total area of ​​590,460 m² have been opened. The boom in shopping centers will continue. According to the current state of planning, at least 61 new centers will be built by 2009.

According to a study by the Institute for Commercial Centers, Starnberg , there were already 644 shopping centers in Germany in January 2011 with a retail area of ​​8,000 m² or more. The average size of the centers in Germany was 24,913 m². After a center boom in the new federal states in the first few years after reunification, the market has stabilized since the mid-1990s. In contrast to this, there has been a significant upturn in the market in the old federal states in recent years. Differentiated according to federal states, North Rhine-Westphalia holds the top position with 110 centers and a retail space of around 2.75 million m². The state of Bavaria ranks second with around 1.82 million m² and 80 centers. Saxony follows in third place with 1.53 million m².

425 of the 644 German shopping centers are part of the so-called regional centers (from 15,000 m²). According to forecasts by the Institute for Commercial Centers, the number will increase to 455 centers by the end of 2012. In recent years, the variety of center types in Germany has increased. Additions include Factory Outlet Center , and theme centers Center in stations and airports (airport retailing).

A majority (76.7%) of tenants in shopping centers assume that the importance of centers for the success of their company will increase or at least remain the same. 37.7% answered yes to whether there are already too many shopping centers in Germany. ecostra, CB Richard Ellis ( CBRE ) and Immobilien Zeitung asked tenants for their opinion in 200 German shopping centers with more than 10,000 m² of retail space for the 2011 Shopping Center Performance Report . The question was how satisfactory the sales performance of a shop is compared to other shopping centers in which the tenant also has a shop. The Citti-Park in Kiel was rated as the best center. The Mira shopping center in Munich , which opened in 2008, came in last .


In 2018 there were 191 shopping centers in Switzerland, which had a sales decrease of 0.9% compared to the previous year. The sales area fell for the first time in the same year. The following are the largest shopping centers - with the exception of shopping centers located in train stations and airports - based on sales in Switzerland as of 2016 according to the market research company GfK :

Item Surname place Sales in CHF Sales area (in m²) shops Parking spaces
1 Glatt shopping center Wallisellen 601 million 43,400 116 4,750
2 Balexert Vernier 407 million 50,000 100 2,200
3 Shoppi Tivoli Spreitenbach AG 406 million 78,000 150 4,200
4th Sihlcity Zurich 340 million 42,466 90 850
5 Shoppyland Schönbühl Schönbühl 299 million 48,818 82 1,900
6th Seedamm Center Pfäffikon SZ 228 million 20,100 50 1,500
7th Zugerland Steinhausen 222 million 20,100 50 1,500
8th Emmen Center Emmenbrücke 218 million 30,000 86 2,400
9 Shopping arena St. Gallen 215 million
10 Westside Bern 211.5 million 25,865 69 1,275
11 Marin Center Marin-Epagnier 207 million
12 Gäupark Egerkingen 199 million 40,472 61 1,372
13 Center commercial Crissier 201 million
14th Center Manor Chavannes-de-Bogis 193 million
15th Surseepark Sursee 192 million
16 Avry Center Avry-sur-Matran 190 million
17th La Praille Carouge 183 million
18th Myths Center Schwyz 178 million
19th Letzipark Zurich 174 million
20th State park Stans 169 million
21st Metalli shopping avenue train 169 million
22nd Center Manor Vevey 169 million
23 Leman Center Crissier 160 million
24 Wynecenter Buchs AG 157.8 million 15,980 22nd 914
25th Volki country Volketswil 151 million

Note: Not included in the list may include a. the Airport Center at Zurich Airport (sales: 534 million (2015), area: 32,000 m²) and the Shopville in Zurich main station (sales: 424 million (2008), area: 16,700 m²). Based on the 2016 survey, the Mall of Switzerland opened in 2017 (area: 46,000 m²) is not yet included here.


Area development in shopping malls and retail parks from 2000 to 2009; (Source: location + market)

The first shopping center in Austria was built in Vienna- Hietzing in 1961 with the help of Ekazent , which was founded for this purpose .

Most of the shopping centers are located in Vienna, but those with the largest retail space were built in Lower Austria. The Shopping City Süd in Vösendorf , south of Vienna, is one of the largest in Europe. The shopping city Seiersberg near Graz ranks second . The size of the shopping centers varies between 11,000 and 19,500 m² depending on the location.

Development of the market shares of shopping centers in Austria 1987–2009 (Source: Location + Markt)

According to the ACSC, there are currently 132 shopping centers (shopping malls) and 86 specialist market centers (retail parks) in Austria. The total of 218 shopping centers from 2012 (as of December 31, 2012) have a lettable area of ​​over 3.7 million m², which corresponds to a sales area of ​​over 2.9 million m² throughout Austria. This corresponds to an increase of slightly more than 4% over the previous year. This means that in 2012 there was around 0.44 m² of lettable space per inhabitant in shopping centers. If one takes the sales area, which is more informative for the supply situation, as a basis, the value is 0.35 m² per inhabitant. Both values ​​have increased slightly compared to the previous year. If you only include those shopping centers that are larger than 10,000 m² (rentable area), in order to create an international comparison, then each Austrian accounts for 0.35 m² of rentable space or 0.28 m² of retail space.

Sales in 2012 amounted to 11.7 billion euros, which corresponds to a like-for-like increase of around 2% compared to the previous year.

The market share of Austrian shopping centers in retail has grown steadily over the past 25 years and is now 23.2%. A comparison over time since 1987 shows the following (see second graphic on the right):

The shopping centers in Austria were visited by a good 550 million people in 2012. If you look at this figure from 2000 (around 300 million visitors at the time), the centers have recorded an increase in visitor numbers of around 84% over the past 12 years. The number of visitors is an important indicator of the acceptance of shopping centers and retail parks.

Newly opened shopping centers and FMZ areas after years starting in 1988 (source: location + market)

In all Austrian shopping centers together there were almost 7,100 stores at the turn of the year, i.e. an average of around 37 stores per center. In 2012, around 72,000 people were employed in all centers, which corresponds to an increase of over 4%.

The number of parking spaces is currently over 172,000. If you subtract the (system-related atypical) parking spaces for Vienna Airport Shopping, there are around 148,000 parking spaces (January 1, 2011: 143,000).

The area productivity of the centers (= gross turnover per m² of rentable area ). was € 3,300 in 2012 (comparative value 2008: € 3,200). If one sees this value differentiated according to the two main types of centers, then shopping malls deliver an average turnover per m² of rentable area of ​​3,500 euros and retail parks of 2,450 euros.

In the long-term average (1988 to 2012), the annual growth of shopping malls and retail parks in Austria was around 110,000 m² GLA. It should be noted that, on a 20-year average, almost 69,000 m² of this was accounted for by shopping malls and almost 41,000 m² by retail parks. The strongest growth was recorded in 1990 and 2001, when 163,000 m² and 203,000 m² of GLA were added. The area growth rates of “600,000 square meters in the next few years”, which are very often communicated by other market observers, must therefore be questioned critically in any case. The course of the annual development of the shopping malls and retail parks can be seen in the third graphic on the right.

Shopping mall and retail park opening after years starting in 1988 (source: location + market)

With regard to the number of openings of shopping malls (SM) and retail parks (RP), a 20-year comparison shows that the number of openings in traditional shopping centers is clearly declining, while the number of retail park openings has increased momentum, especially since 1995, as can be seen from the fourth graphic on the right.

It is very interesting to look at the locations in which shopping centers have been built over the past 25 years. Roughly a division into three categories can be defined here: locations integrated in a main business area, district center in Vienna (category 1); other, also (partially) integrated centers (category 2); Locations without extensive residential use within walking distance of the location (category 3). While the two years 2010 and 2011 were dominated by openings in the city center, the past year again showed a slight tendency towards centers on the outskirts. A clear tendency towards the much-discussed “revival of the city” cannot (yet) be foreseen from this list.

The size classes of shopping malls in Austria are very different, measured in terms of number, centers with less than 20,000 m² GLA clearly dominate, they make up around 70% of the total number of shopping malls. The number of shopping malls with more than 80,000 m² GLA is low (4 centers), but they still make up 17% of the total rentable space of all Austrian shopping malls.

The most common tenants in Austrian shopping malls are Roma (62 shops), Tchibo (54 shops) and dm (53 shops), those in retail parks are dm (48 shops), kik (41 shops) and Libro (40 shops).

shopping mall city rentable area (in m²)
1 Shopping City South Vösendorf 173,500 (with IKEA)
2 Danube Center and Donauplex Vienna 119,000
3 Shopping City Seiersberg Graz 085,000
4th PlusCity Pasching 082,500
5 Center West Graz 078,000
6th G3 Shopping Resort Gerasdorf 070,000
7th Haid Center Haid 068,000 (without IKEA; with: approx. 100,000)
8th Stadlau business park Vienna 066,000
9 DEZ shopping center innsbruck 065,000
10 arena Fohnsdorf 054,600

Rest of Europe

The Istanbul Forum (Istanbul) is possibly the largest shopping center in Europe with 495,000 m² of retail space. The Centro Comercial Colombo in Lisbon with 450,000 m² of retail space and the Cevahir Shopping Mall in Istanbul are comparably large . Most of the megamalls in Europe are located in Turkey, Greece and Italy (Athens Heart, Kanyon, Profilo, Metrocity, Capitol, Maxi City, Olivium, Golden Hall, Akmerkez, The Mall Athens, Tepe Nautilus, Mediterranean Cosmos, Galleria, etc.), in Great Britain are the Bluewater and the MetroCentre Newcastle. A new boom of so-called megamalls can be observed in Central and Eastern Europe. B. in Hungary the Arena Plaza , in Poland ( Arkadia , Manufaktura ), Russia ( Mega ), Greece (Mediterranean Cosmos), Poland ( Serenada ) or in the Ukraine ( Olympic Plaza ).



Africa is seen as a rapidly growing market for shopping centers. Between 2015 and 2018, 223 new shopping malls will be built, with West Africa showing the greatest growth. So far, large shopping malls can be found mainly in the states north of the Sahara and in southern Africa . The Morocco Mall in Morocco is the largest in Africa with a sales area of ​​200,000 m². The Mall of Arabia with 180,000 m² and the Cairo Festival Mall with 168,000 m² are located in Egypt . In South Africa there is the Menlyn Mall (169,253 m²) in Pretoria , the Gateway Theater of Shopping in Durban (166,636 m²) and Canal Walk (140,667 m²) in Cape Town . In addition, the Mall of Africa in Midrand ( Gauteng ) with a sales area of ​​120,000 m² and Sandton City (146,803 m²) in Sandton (Gauteng). The Grove Mall of Namibia in Windhoek , Namibia is the largest shopping center in southern Africa outside of South Africa . In Kenya , the Two Rivers Mall in Nairobi is at the top with 65,000 m².


More and more megamalls are also being built in Asia , for example in the People's Republic of China ( Nextage ) or in the Philippines ( SM Megamall ). In Japan, some department stores are already reaching this size. An example of a megamall in Japan is Sunshine 60 (or Sunshine City ) in Tokyo / Ikebukuro . There is also a department store with approx. 86,000 m². Large malls have already been built in Dubai ( United Arab Emirates ), including the Dubai Mall , the Mall of the Emirates , and the Ibn Battuta Mall . The mall of Arabia , which is currently under construction, is to be even bigger . With the Mall of Arabia, a sales area beyond 1,000,000 m² is being built.

North America

There are many megamalls in Canada and the USA - the largest operator in the USA is the Simon Property Group . Some malls have a sales area of ​​more than 300,000 m². The largest mega-malls in North America include the West Edmonton Mall in Edmonton , Square One in Mississauga , the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania and the Mall of America in Bloomington near Minneapolis . Lately it has been observed in the USA that many closed centers are threatened by a sharp decline in customers in favor of large, free-standing individual stores (such as Walmart , Target or Best Buy ) or that the majority of the shops in the centers are already closed. Contrary to the international trend, only one closed shopping center has opened in the US since 2006, but 400 of the 2000 largest American shopping centers closed in 2007 and 2008.


shopping mall city Country Sales area /
total area (in m²)
opening Specialty
Iran Mall Tehran Iran 1,400,000 2018 Largest shopping mall in the world
Arkadia (Warsaw) Warsaw Poland 103,000 / 287,000 2004 Largest shopping center in Poland
acropolis Vilnius Lithuania 108,000 2002 Largest shopping center in Lithuania and the Baltic States
Ala Moana Center Honolulu United States 245,000 1986 Mega open air mall in Hawaii
Aricanduva Mall São Paulo Brazil 342,000 1991 largest shopping center in Brazil
Beijing Mall Beijing People's Republic of China 440,000 2005 fourth largest shopping mall in the world; second largest mall in Beijing
Berjaya Times Square Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 700,000 second largest shopping center in Asia
Bluewater Kent UK 312,000 Largest shopping center in the UK and Western Europe
Central World Bangkok Thailand 550,000 / 1,024,000 2006 (after renovation) Largest mall in Thailand
Centro Colombo Lisbon Portugal 450,000 2000 largest shopping center in Europe
CentrO Oberhausen Germany 119,000 / 830,000 1996 Largest shopping center in Germany ; largest “shopping and leisure center” in Europe
Cevahir Shopping Mall Istanbul Turkey 412,000 2005 second largest shopping center in Europe
COEX Mall Seoul South Korea 165,000 200 largest underground mall in the world
Dubai Mall Dubai United Arab Emirates 350,000 / 1,120,000 2008 Close to Burj Khalifa , major leisure and entertainment facilities (opening November 4, 2008)
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II Milan Italy 1867 very central, integrated city center location, sophisticated architecture
Zolotoi Vawilon Rostokino Moscow Russia 170,000 2009 largest shopping center in Russia , largest inner-city shopping center in Europe
Golden Resources Shopping Mall Beijing People's Republic of China 680,000 second largest shopping mall in China
Grandview Mall Guangzhou People's Republic of China 420,000 2005
Department Store No. 1 Pyongyang North Korea 40,000 1982 largest shopping mall in North Korea
King of Prussia Mall Philadelphia United States 250,000 second largest shopping mall in the USA
Mall of America Bloomington United States 390,000 Largest mall in the USA
Mall of Arabia Dubai United Arab Emirates 1,000,000 / 2,000,000 from 2013 will be the largest shopping center in the world, opening in phases
Mall of the Emirates Dubai United Arab Emirates 225,000 2005 until 2008 largest shopping center in Dubai
Mediterranean Cosmos Thessaloniki Greece 250,000 2005 Largest shopping center in the Balkans
MetroCentre Gateshead UK second largest shopping center in the UK
Nordstan Gothenburg Sweden 320,000 1972 largest shopping center in Northern Europe
Pakuwon Mall Surabaya Indonesia 200,000 2003 largest shopping mall in Indonesia
Siam Paragon Bangkok Thailand 500,000 2005 Luxury mall in Thailand
Shopping City South Vösendorf / Wiener Neudorf Austria 173,000 / 270,000 1976 Largest shopping center in Austria
South China Mall Dongguan People's Republic of China 900,000 2005 largest shopping mall in China
West Edmonton Mall Edmonton Canada 500,000 For a long time the largest shopping center in the world in Canada
West Gate Zagreb Croatia 100,000 / 227,000 2009 largest shopping center in Croatia


  • Walter Brune among others: attack on the city. Critical texts on the conception, planning and impact of integrated and non-integrated shopping centers in central locations . Corrected edition. Droste, Düsseldorf 2006, ISBN 3-7700-1264-X .
  • Location + Market: S + M Documentation Shopping Center Austria 2009/2010. Baden 2010.
  • B. Falk, W. Bays (Ed.): Shopping Center Manual . Development-Management-Marketing, Starnberg 2009, ISBN 978-3-00-027250-9 .
  • Institute for Commercial Centers , B. Falk (Ed.): Shopping Center Report 2011 . Starnberg 2011, ISBN 978-3-00-033115-2 .
  • ecostra: Shopping Center Performance Report Germany 2011. Wiesbaden 2011.
  • Institute for Commercial Centers , B. Falk (Ed.): International Shopping Center Report 2012, Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Slovenia . Starnberg 2012.
  • Christian Seemann: Assessment criteria and recommendations for the analysis and planning of shopping centers . Igel Verlag, Hamburg 2008, ISBN 978-3-86815-038-4 .
  • Walter Brune: Factory Outlet Center - a new attack on the city. A pamphlet by Walter Brune. 1st edition. IZ Immobilien Zeitung, Wiesbaden 2014, ISBN 978-3-940219-24-4 .
  • Bernd Falk among others: The big handbook for shopping centers. Shopping malls, factory outlet malls, urban entertainment centers . Verlag Moderne Industrie, Landsberg / Lech 1998, ISBN 3-478-36450-7 .

Web links

Commons : Shopping Malls  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Shopping center  - explanations of meanings, origins of words, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. B. Hahn: Shopping centers conquer the world. A contribution to the globalization of retail. In: Geographical Rundschau. 5/2011, pp. 20-26.
  2. a b ACSC . Austrian Council of Shopping Centers / Austrian Association for Shopping Centers.
  3. BVerwG , judgment of April 27, 1990, Az. 4 C 16. 87, (full text)
  4. Malene Gürgen: Mall dying in Berlin: Shortly before the store closes . In: The daily newspaper: taz . November 30, 2019, ISSN  0931-9085 ( [accessed December 2, 2019]).
  5. Uwe Rada: “A real bubble has formed” . In: The daily newspaper: taz . November 30, 2019, ISSN  0931-9085 , p. 45 ( [accessed December 2, 2019]).
  6. See Falk 1998.
  7. See : Strip mall
  8. Study: Double the number of stores triples developer profit . In: Immobilien Zeitung . online, December 15, 2011, accessed December 20, 2011.
  9. Shopping centers. (PDF; 1.8 MB). In: archithese. 5/2008.
  10. Background information on shopping centers in historic inner cities on DenkmalDebatten ( Memento of the original from September 21, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. Germany's best and worst shopping centers . In: Immobilien Zeitung online, November 10, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2011.
  12. In Citti-Park, retailers set the course . In: Immobilien Zeitung online, November 10, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2011.
  13. Mira Munich: Bad start despite eco-label and full letting . In: Immobilien Zeitung online, November 10, 2011. Accessed December 20, 2011.
  14. Shopping centers continue to shrink. In: . May 10, 2019, accessed May 11, 2019 .
  15. Handelszeitung: Shopping centers lose half a billion in sales , accessed on December 17, 2018 ( data , primary source GfK )
  16. a b c d Location + Markt S + M Documentation Shopping Center in Austria 2009/10.
  17. Ekazent Real Estate Management ( Memento of the original from July 5, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , accessed November 25, 2009. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  18. For ten years the tenants have stayed the same from RegioPlan Consulting as of 2006, accessed on November 24, 2009.
  19. Shopping Mall across Africa 2015 Report. Sagachi Research, June 30, 2015.
  20. Menlyn set to become largest mall in Africa. Sunday Times, August 31, 2016.
  21. Atterbury develops SA's biggest single-phase shopping mall. Moneyweb, August 13, 2013.
  22. ^ History of the Center. Sandton City. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  23. Kenya's largest shopping center, Two Rivers Mall, open in Nairobi. Construction Business Review, February 20, 2017.
  24. ^ Simon Property Group, Inc. ( English ) Vault . Retrieved July 25, 2018.
  25. By: Florida Times-Union: November 16, 2008-Remember when we all used to go to the Mall? by Diana Middleton. (No longer available online.), Nov 16, 2008, archived from the original on April 16, 2011 ; Retrieved April 15, 2011 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  26. By: the week: March 03, 2009-The vanishing shopping mall., March 26, 2009, accessed April 15, 2011 .
  27. Top 10 construction world record holders . In:
  28. The Dubai Mall opens with the largest number of retailers in the world's largest-ever mall opening. Emaar Malls, November 3, 2008, accessed November 4, 2008 .