A noteworthy observation about the shopping malls in Asia is that they are enormous in size. The most extensive shopping mall in Europe, called Aviapark, is 230,000 square meters. On the other hand, the largest mall in Asia, South China Mall, is about three times the size of Aviapark. Among the 15 largest malls in Asia, the smallest in size, Sunway Pyramid-Malaysia, is still 196,000 square meters larger than Aviapark. Hence, the malls in Asia are quite large compared to any other in the world. Among the top 15 largest malls in Asia, the first four are South China Mall, SM Tianjin, Golden Resources Mall, and SM City North EDSA. The first three malls are located in China while the fourth one is in the Philippines.
The Three Largest Shopping Malls in Asia
South China Mall, China
Opened to the public in 2006, the South China Mall has approximately 1,000 shops and 360 dining facilities. The mall has a huge steel globe that was transformed into an LED display in 2009. For entertainment purposes, there are both Center Stage cinema and IMAX Theater halls. These spaces are often used for live music concerts. The mall also has an open-air music hall that directly faces the sea. It usually draws large crowds for music performances graced by famous artists. Also, the South China Mall has the biggest ice skating rink in South East Asia. The mall has 7.1 million square feet of leasable space.
SM Tianjin Mall, China
SM Tianjin Mall has 5.8 million square feet of leasable area. It is adjacent to the Tianjin Airport and is accessible by both buses and trains. The structure of the mall, observed from above, resembles a blossoming flower. It offers outstanding dining, leisure, and shopping experiences to customers. Some of its tenants include Watsons, Bravo Yonghui Supermarket, Dadi Ifree Cinema, and Acasia Food Court among others.
Golden Resources Mall, China
Nicknamed the “Great Mall of China,” the Golden Resources Mall covers an area of 6 million square feet. It is located near Fourth Ring Road in Beijing, China. The mall is 1.5 times bigger than the famous Mall of America which is the second largest in North America. In spite of the large size of the Golden Resources Mall, its major drawback is its location. It is inaccessible to most foreign visitors. Furthermore, the goods sold at the shopping centers are too expensive for the Chinese to buy.
Why Invest in Shopping Malls?
One of the reasons for the large shopping malls is the high populations in Asia. The large populations are fast translating into consumers. Secondly, investors such as SM Prime are out to capitalize on the massive consumer market in Asia. In China alone, between 2000 and 2010, consumption grew from US $650 billion to US $1.4 trillion. It is mind-boggling that in the Philippines, SM Prime has built over 60 malls so far.