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How To Plan A Mall Layout

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By Author: Eric Blair
Total Articles: 23
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Planning the construction of a mall is a big deal given the expense involved, and many people max out their budget on construction. Instead of buying a slightly smaller property or removing a few space units from the building itself, planners max their budget and do not make an effective layout. Usually the stores within will determine if the mall is successful or not, but the flow of the mall areas is just as important to ensure that customers hit all the hottest stores in the regular route. Knowing some mechanics behind how malls work and the different business sectors involved will make planning something more than just a shot in the dark.

The flow that people use when going through the mall is extremely important when planning everything out. The mall shape should be thought of as a type of variable circuit to maximize how people enter, explore and exit the mall in the most effective way. Most malls will be surrounded by parking area, and as such there will be many entrance points into the main loop from the parking lots. Usually there is a main entrance, but this should not be a hotspot for stores. Instead ...
... this can be best served as a common eating area or where one extremely popular restaurant or store is. Placing popular businesses into the main entrance stretch seems like a good idea, but people that use other entrances and only walk the circuit will easily miss them.

The main circuit part of the loop is usually oval or other type of interconnected shape. These mall setups are usually the most effective, but larger malls will have a main loop or strip with extra subsections. People typically will enter a mall and walk to the end in back or around the whole loop before leaving. If doing any other type of shape construction for whatever reason, it is good to make sure most of the store area is in a place where people would have a reason to walk by. This can be done because it is either near a main entrance or next to a high volume store.

Pricing is a huge deal when it comes to how the mall will work out. On one hand the mall wants to charge the high volume stores more but offer space for less so local businesses feel comfortable opening up shop within. A good example would be having two separate salons within a single mall environment. The one that is privately owned can afford space in a less popular part of the loop and still get a lot of foot traffic. All the while the chain salon with super high end shampoo bowls and other salon equipment can afford space in the better areas around the loop of the main entrance.

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