Mall Mania: American Style Shopping Goes Global

Discovery HD Theater Channel is currently running a piece called Mall Mania: American Style Shopping Goes Global, which highlights how the modern shopping mall evolved from its invention in the 1950s in the United States to spread across the world.  Each segment highlights a different country, most of which are in the developing world, and there is also a segment about how malls in America aren’t necessarily being constructed anew anymore but instead how the older ones are being reinvigorated,  highlighting Cherry Hill Mall, Mall of America, and Natick Collection.  It’s a really neat piece, especially if you have any interest in seeing how retailing has taken shape outside of North America, and how it relates to what we started. 

5 Responses to “Mall Mania: American Style Shopping Goes Global”

  1. I don’t have Discovery Channel! That sucks…when is there going to be a real mall entry? Maybe I can see it on YouTube.


  2. Thanks for the info! Can’t wait to see it. I am going to set my DVR to record it.


  3. Does anyone who has seen this know if any dead malls featured?


  4. Readers should also check out the excellent book ‘Mutations’ by Rem Koolhaas and Stephen Boeri for a great analysis/history of mall and retail culture.


  5. This documentary should be renamed the Social Decay: Homoginized Global Marketplaces. As an architect, this has got to go again every principle I have been taught. Does a mall have the same feel, character and vested community interests as a downtown? NO – every mall has the same stores and shops everywhere in the world. There is no history or cultural influences in a mall. Everyone ask themselves, what happened when the mall was built? 9 out of 10 will say that their downtown died….. OK, then ask yourself, what happened when a second mall was built nearby? 9 out of 10 will say that the old mall died. Big box stores…. franchised america… it should all stop. Pretty soon it won’t matter where you live, it will all be the same. It won’t matter what you buy, it is all made in China. Malls represent corporate america – haven’t we all had enough of this – and goverment as well.

    I know that when I have a choice, I choose locally owned shops and stores for shopping. Sure, it might cost me a few percent more, butat least I know those $$ will stay in my community and not get shipped off to corporate headquarters or as rent to some faceless developer.

    The idea of this Global economy has done nothing but harm to the average Joe American while benifiting the very few wealthy both in the USA, China and other developing countries –

    Just my thoughts – hold on to heritage – it may be the best path to the future.


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