The difference lies in the interconnecting corridors or walks that enable customers to access each unit and move back and forth, if needed, before investing in any particular product or service. The visitors can walk from unit to unit and relax at the in-between sit-outs or snack bars as they shop! Malls are also referred to as retail parks or precincts.
Products and Services Available
Shopping malls are either enclosed retail structures or open-air retail complexes. They flaunt a mix of local shops and international chain stores. They make available easy access to a number of products and services like apparel, electronic items, footwear, accessories, exclusive jewelry, beauty products, and even services!
Arcades enable the shoppers to lounge around, listen to music, entrust children to a play pen, and enjoy a snack or a beverage as they shop. The whole shopping experience has been redefined. It is now a family affair and no more clumsy for dad! He gets space to continue work on the laptop or sip on hot chocolate or a lemonade, as mom drains his bank balance!
The early indoor mall was two or three-story, complete with a basement and shops located on all levels. Today, the difference is the vertical expansion; it have many more levels. The in-house utilities and the variety has increased too. The concept of the enclosed mall was experimented on and pioneered by the American immigrant from Austria, Victor Gruen.
This new generation arcade is an open-air pedestrian shopping center enclosed to enhance the appeal and experience within the dense, new, sprawling, and large residential suburbs. Today there are complexes that are agglomerations and literally, distinct landmarks. The malls today have hundreds of retail centers and stores.
The term arcade is also used for such an arrangement with a narrow pedestrian-only street between closely spaced buildings. The trend is to create the shopping centers within old shopping districts, surrounded by subsidiary streets.
Shopping malls have exclusive food courts offering different cuisine. The food court enables the shoppers to order the snack or meal and carry it to a common dining area. These venues are plaza contiguous, flaunting counters of a number of food vendors. Malls have their own basement or adjacent parking facilities, not to side-line the valet parking services.
They also have segments within the main basement or the entrance arena to look after toddlers. The adolescents can indulge in the cyber cafes or the gaming arcades within. There are masseur services and make overs regularly announced, along with DJ music! Malls are weather-protected and offer the ultimate 'under-one-roof' shopping experience.
A shopping property management company specializes in managing malls. This management is welcomed by the retailers who either own the shops or rent them, since the functionality of the utilities, like the escalators and elevators, are taken care of by the management firm.