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What should be considered in the design of the shopping center?

In the process of managing the shopping center, owners may encounter problems, the cause of which lies in the design of the mall. It is most difficult to solve them, because this will require reconstruction of the building. Vitaly Lvova, Director General of PromotionRealty Marketing Communications Agency, talks about what to consider at the design stage of a shopping facility.

From a technical point of view, a shopping center, like any building, consists of transformable and supporting structures. And the profitability of the trading object depends on how correctly the second ones are placed. Mistakes made during the design can become critical. It is possible to partially correct them by competent seating of operators and logistics of customer flows, but only the reconstruction of the building will completely correct it.

To avoid the task of rebuilding the mall, at the design stage, you need to pay attention to the following points:

Store visibility

Visitors move through shopping galleries inside the mall, depending on their needs. Therefore, it is important that all display cases that may interest them are in visual accessibility. The more stores the buyer sees at one point, the more competently the design of the shopping center is developed. For example, in the United States, a mall project is accepted only when at least 12 shop window displays of tenants are viewed from anywhere in the mall. In Russian practice, there are objects in which escalators take buyers to a blank wall, and you have to make a detour to get to the shopping gallery.

Maximum column pitch and layout flexibility

The possibility of transforming the space of a shopping center is one of the essential requirements of a modern trading market. When discussing a project with a team of architects, it is important to provide for the maximum number of seating arrangements for tenants on the same area. What will the shopping center look like if a store with a size of 2000 square meters is located on the floor, how – when placing 3 operators of 650 square meters, 10 of 200 square meters there? The development of all options will affect the arrangement of columns, walkways and the possibility of further management of these areas and their transformation if necessary. Today we are witnessing a tendency to reduce retail space per operator. If earlier tenants rented premises of 1500-2000 sq. M. meters, now – 600-800 square meters. m, in the future, possibly, there will be a reduction to 350 sq.m.

Ceiling height

Another parameter that needs to be laid in the project taking into account medium-term forecasts is the height of the ceilings. The requirements that today’s operators make are 6-8 meters. Many shopping centers built in 2008-2012, even with good traffic and a favorable location, cannot attract tenants today, just because they are not suitable for their requirements by technical parameters.

Escalator Location

The most efficient location for escalators is cross to cross. It is convenient, both from the point of view of operation and marketing – from escalators located in this way, a view of the different areas of the shopping gallery is opened. In addition, the escalator group, moved inland, brings more revenue to tenants than the one at the main entrance.


Light is the basis of trade. If it is not possible to provide natural light, the interior of the shopping center is best done in bright colors. Dark – “eats” a lot of light and makes the space heavier.

Unloading area

At the project stage, it is important to consider where the unloading zone will be located, one or several. In the process of operation and management of the shopping center, it may be necessary to re-cut the retail space and re-fit the anchor operators. It should also be borne in mind that some operators may put forward conditions for a separate exit to unloading.

Barrier-free environment

An accessible environment is a basic requirement when developing any project for a residential or commercial building. In the case of a shopping facility, it is important to pay attention to the presence of sliding doors, large elevators for a comfortable ride with wheelchairs, and the absence of steps at the entrance groups.

When designing a shopping center and accepting its project for implementation, it is imperative to rely on medium-term forecasts for the development of the retail real estate market. The correct location of the main structural elements of the building will determine the future of the shopping center for 10 years in advance.

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