The Great Mall of China: World’s Largest Shopping Centre
The world’s largest shopping centre is set to open in China’s north-eastern Hebei province next year. The country is already home to the two largest shopping centres in the world, but will break its own record when the 1.84 million sq m Berjaya Great Mall of China (GMOC) opens its doors in 2013.
Comprising a retail mall, three theme parks and a cinema, the first phase of this mega-mall is predicted to cost 5bn yuan ($7.8bn) and is slated for completion by March 2013. The second and third phases will add a convention centre, a 2,000-seat capacity theatre, office blocks, an aquarium, sports centre, hotel and serviced apartments. For more on how shopping malls are becoming multi-faceted leisure destinations, see our report Westfield Stratford City, UK.
Malaysian conglomerate Berjaya Corp Bhd, which previously launched the Berjaya Times Square shopping centre in Kuala Lumpur, bought the vast site 10 years ago. Strategically located within the radius of Beijing, Tianjin and other Hebei cities, its catchment population reportedly numbers 100 million people.
Berjaya chairman Tan Sri Vincent Tan said the company was aiming to “tailor this shopping mall like a resort” – a notable shift in strategy as Chinese malls tend to be purely retail spaces. He also revealed that architects had been instructed to look to the Mall of America and the West Edmonton Mall in Canada for inspiration. “Both are called destination malls. They are located on the outskirts but still have high traffic as they draw many shoppers from the nearby cities. That’s what we want to do with the Great Mall of China.”
Tan added that China was the only country with the population and spending power to make such an ambitious project economically viable.