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Malls, Economics of

As pioneered originally by Victor Gruen in the mid-20th century, the mall was to be a suburban socialization project that included public facilities such as a library, nursery school, post office, clubhouse, auditorium, and even stables for ponies. Over time, however, malls turned into “cathedrals of consumption,” where only profit-driven stores are located. The mall provides an enclosed and privately owned area for retail activities of shop owners addressing consumption needs of shoppers. The mall distinguishes itself from gallerias, fairs, shopping streets, and bazaars: It architecturally unifies commercial establishments in a large-scale facility separated from the (sub)urban place where it is located; it is planned, owned, and managed privately; and it provides extra services apart from retailing, such as on-site parking, security services, and entertainment ...

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