Shopping Center Business

There is an age old adage that says, "It takes one to know one." And this is certainly true if you are contemplating on such a huge scale project as putting up a shopping center.

These days, a shopping center is more popularly known as “the mall.” So what makes a mall work, and what makes it fail? There are a lot of variables to consider when setting up a mall.

First of all, we define what a mall is. A shopping center / shopping mall / shopping arcade / shopping precinct / mall is comprised of a group of retail stores that reside within a single or connected architectural plan with adjacent parking area(s) and interconnecting walkways. The mall supplies most of the basic shopping needs especially in suburban areas. These days, restaurants have become prominent features of most malls. In fact, almost everything can be found in the malls now. There are gyms, beauty salons, bill payment centers, conference areas, concert areas, dentists, dermatologists, therapeutic clinics, travel agencies, banks and even polling areas in some malls. Retail stores can be a mixture of local shops or franchise stores; it can cater to popular taste or to high street.

Classification of Shopping Centers

Malls can be classified as super malls, regional malls, super regional malls, outlet malls.

The most prevalent trend these days is the creation of super malls: large super structures which include office spaces, residential spaces, and amusement parks, to name a few.

Regional shopping malls are malls which are designed to service a larger area than any conventional shopping mall. They usually occupy a larger working area and certainly offer a wider selection of stores. This seemingly large capacity affords higher-end stores to cover a larger selling area in order for their services to be profitable. Often, regional malls are also considered as tourist attraction in many vacation areas.

Super regional malls usually cover about 800,000 square feet or more, and may serve as the dominant shopping venue for the region where it is located.

Outlet malls are another example of mall classification. Also called outlet centers, these are shopping centers in which manufacturers sell their products directly to the public through their own stores. Sometimes, the other stores in these malls are operated by retailers selling returned goods and / or discontinued products at much reduced prices.

Components of Malls

Some popular components of successful malls include the following: department stores, food courts, recreation centers.

Department stores are also called anchor stores or draw tenants. These larger stores generally have their rents heavily discounted, and are considered as traffic anchors that could eventually draw people to the smaller retail stores nearby. In some cases, department stores may even receive cash inducements from the mall to remain open.

Food courts are usually groups or clusters of shop stalls offering different local and international cuisines, franchise stalls of popular take-out foods, candy, etc. where meals are ordered singly and then carried to a common dining area. The usual set-up is that the dining area is surrounded, (and with some, totally enclosed) by the multiple food vendors.

Recreation centers run the gamut of every possible R&R activity. There are play pens for the very young children, arcades for the school-aged child, and massage parlors for the adults, etc. Spa treatment centers, beauty parlors, concert venues, and cinemas are all part of the recreation centers, and these also help generate traffic into the mall.

Until recently, business establishments are not staple sites in the shopping centers. These days, banks, staffing services, even second language schools can be found in the malls.

If you are all set to start your own shopping center then you must register with International Council of Shopping Centers to learn business ethics, how to promote, improve management and marketing as well.


  • debomita paul said on September 16, 2010
    How to start a food business like food stall at shopping mall or a restaurant at Kolkata, West Bengal, India?
  • praveen said on November 20, 2010
    i need idea that how to start a food stall in shopping mall chennai. and what are the license we have to follow to start a food stall
  • malcolm blackburn said on March 31, 2011
    tell me how I can get started on a shopping mall business for beginners
  • kunal batra said on April 10, 2011
    Hi, I am thinking of starting a stall in a shopping mall. Not a shop but a stall. SO, I need to know what kind of investment would be required and what are the formalities needed to be completed
  • Juthika Deori said on April 10, 2011
    Hi .. I am thinking of buliding a medium size shopping centre in Dibrugarh , Assam,India . So ,plz tell me what will be the minimum investment for this and the kind of shops that i can give for rent purpose . And also information of the kind of license , or any necessary documents and regulation .
  • Aditya Bhatta said on September 21, 2011
    Myself is Aditya. I am planning to start one shopping mall in Sivasagar district of Assam, which will be medium size. But I don't have any idea regarding how and from where to start. I will be happy if you can suggest me on how to proceed regarding this matter
  • Chloe Tay said on October 13, 2011
    Hi, I'm Chloe and I'm from Singapore. I am planning to start a shopping mall in Singapore. I believe it's going to be medium scale and mainly open my own shops inside as well. Please advise me on minimum investment on this, license, necessary documents and regulations as well as steps to proceed to this. I appreciate your help and look forward to your reply. Thank you.
  • Mohammed Feroz Ahmed said on April 3, 2012
    hi, my self mohammed feroz ahmed i want to establish one medium size shopping center in my place karnataka gulbarga india with fully modern techniques can any one guide me in this.i will appreciate from your needful help
  • diwakar said on June 22, 2012
    i am from dhrmavaram, andhra pradhesh, india. i am planing to start a medium size shopping mall . it consist gift items, home needs, sports , all. please advise how to plan starting from construction.
  • Mbongeni Sindane said on November 16, 2012
    Hi,I'm from South Africa. I'm planing to start a shopping mall with 200/even more stores, including, food courts, cinemas, Parking area of not less than 1770 bays etc. I need advices of what procedure to follow and how to seek for investor's who will be interested on my business plan and construction. Also I want to know how do I get to buy the area where it will situated? I will really appreciate your help.
  • yogisha hejamadi said on December 8, 2012
    Good morning, I am yogisha hejamadi, i am From udupi i want to start shopping mall large scale with all modern shops as well as theaters in udupi karnataka can you guide me how to start this project. and please advise how to plan starting from construction.
  • Sanele said on January 2, 2013
    Hi, I'm Sanele from South Africa, i want to start medium scale shopping mall with all modern shops, including, food courts, cinemas, Parking area in the small town in KwaZulu Natal. i have sow the opportunity of starting it because the gap of market is too big. you have to travel more than 150 kilomiters to get in to the mall and we have more than 2-4 million population of a working class that are leaving in the aria and it will open more job opportunity for unemployed youth in my aria. I need advices of what procedure to follow and how to seek for investor's and funds who will be interested on my business plan and please advise how to plan starting from construction. how I can get started on a retail franchise business (shopping mall) form beginners
  • p.srinivas said on January 6, 2013
    hi, this is srinivas, i want to start a start a shopping mall in my native place srikakulam, india. can you advice what are documents need and estimation investment,and what are the sources to acquisition of funds. this is my mobile number +91-9052751150.please advise to me and help
  • mathapelo Potsane said on February 19, 2013 name is Thapi. me and a few partners have realized a need for a shopping complex in the area of freestate, south africa. where do i go to find out about the laws governing this part of business and what we need in terms of licenses etc. pls refer me to relevant parties and venture capitalists in my area. thanks.
  • umakant said on March 15, 2013
    Hi. i am from small in maharashtra and i want to start my own shopping centre in my district city which has super demographic so plz i want know all the external dealing related to govt and other. thanks.
  • umakant said on March 15, 2013
    i am from marathwada reign ,latur district and i want to set up shopping mall in Latur city.
  • Kousik Adhikary said on April 14, 2013
    Hi! I am Kousik from Nandakumar(between Tamluk and Haldia), East Midnapur, West Bengal, India. I want start my own shopping mall but i need a experienced(about mall) partner also. Please help me.
  • Isaac Makhwedzha said on May 22, 2013
    Hi! I am Mpho from south africa and I have an idea to build my own small shopping mall(in limpopo province, in venda around sibasa)please help because I saw a need in that place.
  • mzivukile tom said on June 12, 2013
    i'm leaving in the town call Graaff-Reneit! with no development. my interest is to open a shopping centre. But i need your advise what step can i take and how will i get investors in my business.
  • Khojane Madiba said on July 8, 2013
    So what are tips companies that would like to build malls in their area. and if the area is too small, is building a mall outside a town not going to leave main town as a ghost town?
  • Phindile said on August 8, 2013
    Hi. I am from Kwanyuswa near Hillcrest Kwazulu Natal and I would like to open or build a shopping centre. I would get some advice on how to start it or where to go about if I want to implement my idea. I have seen a space and the need for the centre. Please help, Thanks
  • Janet said on August 21, 2013
    Hi, I am a permanent resident in an area in Gauteng (south of johannesburg) with no shops at all. Really wish to start a project of developing a shopping centre as there is a need for it. I dont know where to start, or who to ask info from and how to get investors.
  • KEletso said on October 11, 2013
    Hi my name is keletso, staying in pretoria. i want to start shopping mall, i want to know where should i begin and how would i get the investors
  • Ayanda Ndzimbovu said on October 17, 2013
    On behalf of a youth group who would like to open up a shopping mall within Centocow, KZN in South Africa, would like to know what is required and who can assist us as we want to make life much easier for people within Centocow! For example, avoid good public service employees such as doctors, teachers, etc from leaving as they normally complain that good shops are too far! Beside that this will create job opportunities and avoid car accidents & long travel for a community to go a long way for making a grocery, or spending more petrol to get petrol, that's just a few to mention! So, what could be required from us? Who can assist us to succeed?
  • Ayanda Ndzimbovu said on October 17, 2013
    How can we get investors for starting a mall?
  • Nkiti Mohlala said on November 5, 2013
    Hi can you please assist with detailed information on how to build a mall and how to get fundings
  • Malebelo Malope said on December 29, 2013
    Can anyone help me, I want to start a shopping complex in my community due to the long distance travel to town which is 50km.
  • Alfred vuyani Kheswa said on January 18, 2014
    Hi my name is Alfred Kheswa I'm living in South Africa in a small town called Matatiele. I'm having a dream to run a shopping centre Business I need your advice. On how to start running a mall Business.
  • Ncobile Mhaule said on January 19, 2014
    Hi, i need advise on what steps to follow on starting a shopping centre business and how do i get investors. i really see a need in opening one in my area to develop the community and creating jobs. i would really appreciate your response, thank you.
  • ngatha gift shipalana said on February 23, 2014
    My name is ngatha gift shipalana, i want to start a shopping mall in a rural area, i need some advise on how to star or where to start, how do i approach retail stores and bank, how do i approach the traditional counsel and municipality on the matter to secure the land, which investor deals with mall investment.
  • Sandile Mwelase said on March 25, 2014
    Greetings my name is Sandile Mwelase from Ulundi KwaZulu Natal R.S.A. I kindly request your help on how to get sponsors, business investor or funders if you wanna open a shopping center in rural areas where there is a vital reason for it because of they traveling more than 35 km no shop or spaza shops, I would be grateful to help my community please help.
  • sonjib said on April 11, 2014
    I want bata shopping center in my nearly home town dibrugarh rajgarh can do it...please help me thanx...
  • sonjib tasha said on April 11, 2014
    Hi, myself sonjib I am planning to start one shopping mall minimum investment dibrugarh district rajgarh Assam...I have no idea how can do it please help me...thanx...
  • kirti dubey said on April 16, 2014
    hi this is kirti, i am student pursuing masters in science from hyderabad. but i am planning to open my own mall with all clothing and cosmetics brands in it. i dont have any idea how to start and how much amount it will take , but i desire to do it. can u help me out by giving details on how should i plan to achieve it. thanks
  • Martin Langa said on July 18, 2014
    I am Martin from Mokopane ( Limpopo) I kindly request your help on how to get sponsors, business investor or funders if you wanna open a shopping center in rural area. Best regards, Martin
  • Witold Swirski said on August 2, 2014
    Do you post anywhere answers to all these questions regarding starting a new shopping/Mall centers? They are very similar and it would save you time to give a respond that would be available for everyone. Anyway that is what I am interested too. (London, Ontario Canada)
  • satinder said on August 11, 2014
    Plz advise how i can use my L type plot on 80feet road & 20feet street. Plz tell me procedure to plot for business purpose
  • pradeep kumae said on September 28, 2014
    hello sir, i'm pradeep kumar and want to begin a shopping mall center but no idea tell about that. how to start and how much cost for that.
  • Prabin Kumar Baishya said on October 23, 2014
    Hi greetings of the day!!! I am Prabin Kumar Baishya would like to begin a Shopping Mall at Bangaigaon, Aassam within 28,800 Sq.ft land near the market road side. Kindly guide me with the basic ideas in terms of finance and infrastructure to start with. Thanks & Regards
  • Bishnupriya Maharana said on October 24, 2014
    Hi I am Bishnupriya form Rourkela would like to open a shopping mall at Rourkela 30,000 Sq.ft land near rourkela. kindly guide me the basic idea, rules n regulation and finance to start with. Thanks & Regards
  • Khanyi said on October 28, 2014
    hi, I've been looking at this piece of land next to the filling station, and I've been having some ideas on how it can b best used to open a small shopping complex with a couple of restaurants, and packing space is available. am in potchefstroom south Africa. please help me on what steps do I need to take to make this a reality...
  • isha said on November 15, 2014
    Hi, i am isha dubey from bihar. We are planning for startup a shopping mall in gopalganj bihar. Our property is at good location. we just want to know what to do?
  • Monti Selepe said on January 25, 2015
    Land available for lease/renting in limpopo to build a shopping mall. 45 km from polokwane city.
  • virginia maluleke said on April 8, 2015
    Hi name is virginia maluleke from limpopo south Africa. My request is the same as everyone on the list, please provide me with all the information required
  • jintu said on April 11, 2015
    I want to start a shopping mall in dhemaji (assam). With an investment of rs. 10 lakh. After it gains success hopefully i will invest more
  • somnath said on April 11, 2015
    I am interested in shopping mall business
  • sheriff said on June 24, 2015
    Hi, am thinking to build a shopping center in a small town but I've never do any business before this will be the first one. Am from south africa, so I was looking for advise what will take me to achieve this goal and I know that is not easy to do such thing. In that area there's no retail stores such as clothing shops, restaurants, cinema, game shops, banks. Things like banks is only ATM's. I think a mall will help the community to spend less in transport. I will appreciate a lot if I can get a help
  • Akash Kumar Tahal said on July 2, 2015
    I want to begin a shopping Mall. I have a good plan for construction of it. But my problem is where i bye product for my shopping Mall at best price. Plz. tell me about that.
  • Mokekane said on July 31, 2015
    Hi I am Maphopha Mokekane Paul. I am requesting for an advice to acquire a developer to establish shopping centre in our community. We have sufficient land which could also be rented for development aforesaid which situated along the main road between Jan furse and Burgersfort in Limpopo. We also have mining development on the card as we have already acquired mining permit. It will be very grateful and very helpful to my community get your help. Kind regards, MAPHOPHA M.P 0763420618
  • Nofundo said on August 28, 2015
    Hi, I am planning to establish a shopping centre at a rural area that has no excess to shops and other important facilities like banks. I believe that this could change the community of kwaSwayimana and surrounding area. I do have the land but i do not know where to start in making this possible. With Thanks, Nomfundo 0789257616
  • Mashao Mpho said on December 23, 2015
    Hi I'm Mpho Mashao from Mpumalanga. I'd like to start my own shopping mall In Thulamahashe (Bushbuckridge). I would be glad to be advised on how to start the mall especially when you don't have cash. How should I get some people to guide me including the investors. my number : 078 1729 232 E Mail address :
  • Vuyolwethu Rolo said on February 2, 2016
    I'd like to start a shopping mall in port st johns town. There's No shops in this town especially clothes shops, if you want to buy Clothes you suppose to nearby town. I need a Funding.
    Town: Port St Johns
    Province: Eastern Cape
    country: South Africa
  • Nilamoni Kalita said on February 26, 2016
    I am a post graduate and start to open a mall. How can i proceed. please suggest whom.should i contact and how much the investment. Is bank give loan to build mall. please suggest. I am new in this field.
  • Phiwokuhle Blessing Bhebhe said on December 29, 2016
    Hi, my name is Phiwokuhle Bhebhe, i live in south africa. i would like to start a shopping mall in kwazulu natal at pinetown. i need investors and help to get clients to rent. Contact:0786727183
  • Samson Thuse said on May 31, 2017
    I'm Mr Samson Thuse residing at Zonkizizwe, I have registered a company, but I'm lacking of the funds I would like to built a shopping centre at Zonkizizwe. But I dont have the funds to established the shopping centre. can you advice me about the steps that I must take. Your truly Mr Samson Thuse.


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