Strip mall

A strip mall (also called a shopping plaza, shopping center, mini-mall, or shopping parade) is an open-air shopping center where the stores are arranged in a row, with a sidewalk in front. Strip malls are typically developed as a unit and have large parking lots in front. They face major traffic arterials and tend to be self-contained with few pedestrian connections to surrounding neighborhoods.

Mall types

United States and Canada

In the United States and Canada, strip malls usually range in size from 5,000 square feet (460 m2) to over 100,000 square feet (9,300 m2). Power centers, described below, may also be considered strip malls, and may reach 2.3 million square feet (210,000 m2).[1]

The smaller variety is more common and often located at the intersection of major streets in residential areas; it caters to a small residential area.[2] This type of strip mall is found in nearly every city or town in the United States and Canada; it is service-oriented and may contain a grocery store, hair salon, dry cleaner, laundromat, small restaurant, discount stores, variety stores, and similar stores such as a general store, toy store, pet store, jewelry store, mattress store, Convenience store, thrift shop, or pawn shop. In the past, pharmacies were often located next to the grocery stores, but are now often free-standing or contained within the anchor tenant (e.g. Walmart, Target) or grocery store. Gas stations, banks, and other businesses also may have their own free-standing buildings in the parking lot of the strip center.

The other variety of strip mall in the United States is usually anchored on one end by a big box retailer, such as Walmart, Kohl's or Target, and/or by a large supermarket like Kroger on the other. They are usually referred to as power centers in the real estate development industry because they attract and cater to residents of an expanded population area. The categories of retailers may vary widely, from electronics stores to bookstores to home improvement stores, dollar stores, and boutiques. There are typically only a few of this type of strip malls in a city, compared to the smaller types. Retailers vary from center to center, ranging from three or four large retailers to a dozen or more.

Some strip malls are hybrids of these types.

Strip malls are ubiquitous throughout the United States and Canada and outnumber traditional large shopping malls by a huge margin. As The New York Times pointed out in 2013, the United States has 685 class-A, super-regional malls and 65,840 strip malls.[2]

United Kingdom

The term strip mall is not used in the United Kingdom, where a similar retail development might instead be called a shopping parade.[3]

A noted shopping parade in the UK is the Warwick Quadrant in Redhill, Surrey which opened in 1986. It leads directly onto the town's high street which also features The Belfry, an indoor shopping centre built three years later; both are within two minutes' walking distance of each other.

Also in the UK, The Drake Circus open air shopping centre in Plymouth, Devon was demolished in the early 2000s and replaced by a large indoor shopping centre of the same name.

See also


  1. "About Us". South Edmonton Common. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
  2. Kramer, Andrew E. (January 1, 2013). "With a Mall Boom in Russia, Investors Go Shopping". New York Times. Retrieved September 11, 2013.
  3. "Definition of strip mall in English". Lexico. Oxford University Press/ 2019. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
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