Shopping Mall and Lifestyle in Hong Kong

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In Hong Kong of urban planning, the government has designed and renewed many buildings, such as residence, shopping malls, libraries etc., in order to become a famous city in Asia. Among shopping mall is a landmark in the community, there has provided residents with retail and commercial cores capable of serving. As the economy develops, those of shopping mall use mixed-use style to design.

These types of buildings have brought out influence on the community, it can provide more buildings of value. At the same time, mixed-use buildings offer a range of desirable civic facilities, such as increase landscape area, and provide convenience function for residents. In retrospect, Hong Kong has different kinds of shopping malls in the community before the 1990s, most retail stores are popular with Hong Kong people. (Mark Sharp, 2016). From now on, we have realized the problem of updating the shopping center, most of them start to change the building size, the planning and circulation would follow the shop.

Different cultures and technologies with globalization are entering, extensive retail stores open stores in malls, such as H&M, Zara etc. After renewing shopping malls, social planning has been changing. For those products and rents, most local stores or homes take time to get used to. In the past, we usually buy something face to face in the shop, it can make sure the product quality and builds relationships with a shopper, which through different body language to increase trust between you and the other person. For the now, we all realize that consumption patterns have changed and most users use online payments.

Some online shopping platform is popular with HK people, such as Taobao, eBay etc. Although it can reduce unnecessary time, the shopping culture will be missing. When this society progresses, many buildings and cultures are changed. Different new things are going in the urban, this new element is not surely suitable for everyone.

The government cannot make sure the new things will be better than original since everyone standards are different. If 30 years later, someone asks about the original culture, while we cannot answer it clearly. Faced with this problem, my main research question is to explore after the reconstruction of the shopping center, how the lifestyle of citizens changes in Hong Kong. Those retail planning and circulation are different, and some shopping cultures have changed from local to international.

Definition & History of the Shopping Mall

The first shopping mall “Bloomingdale” designed by Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale was founded in 1872 and is also the department retail concept began around the 20th century.” (Bellis, 2018). At that time, Lyman and Joseph Bloomingdale were an American businessman. “When they were young, who received retail training for clothing in their father’s store.

Through training time to study economy and retail knowledge. “(Jewish Virtual Library, 2018). They were understanding and know local people’s lifestyles in New York City, and study in different public schools. Basic on this situation, they were try to founded their first shopping mall to conduct business. In addition to this situation, urbanism is also one of the reasons for the establishment of the first mall. In the 19th century, both urban planning and ethnicity began to change.

At that time, people come from different ethnic groups are climbed to the cultural level, most of the target user life patterns are different in New York City. Basic urbanism keep to change, the development of the first shopping mall was important in there. On the other hand, Victor Gruen was an Austrian architect, which a pioneering design shopping mall designer. “In 1950, he was a group with engineering, architectural and planning of professional person founded a construction company ‘Victor Gruen Associates’. He was a focus to solve urban of the mass population problem.” (Britannica, 1998).

“In the 19th century, when architect Victor Gruen took the ride in Michigan, he saw most of the suburbs are shabbier and different ugly retail and developments in the community. Almost every tower centre are affected, which missing some basic function and service, most of the citizen cannot solve their daily needs.” (John, 2015). Some of the citizens moved to the suburbs, they still want to shop in the market. Also, Victor Gruen saw most of Americans spent too many time to riding in their car, it would be cutting off the urban with each other, this situation the same in suburbs. Face on this issue, Victor Gruen has suggested building a small-scale shopping mall in suburbs, which can solve different inadequacies.

Through shopping mall to provide daily needs for the citizen, such as traffic facility to zoom in the shopper with mall distance. “Victor Gruen wants to use architectural to solve different vicious circle, through the interior plaza to connect different place people and retail. He hopes the shopping mall was a multifunction building, such as office, library, child-care facilities etc.”(Avery Trufelman, 2015). Southdale Center founded in 1956 designed by Victor Gruen, which was a first architect-designed shopping mall. “Southdale Center was a massive center court, covered in a skylight, it was like a mimic town square. The court was a landmark of the shopping mall” (Avery Trufelman, 2015).

Shopping center called mall or plaza, which would provide different products, services for people. “The shopping mall is an independent retail store by management, which has restaurants, banks, and other establishments. The shopping mall is generally for a neighbourhood, regional scope or community. Some smallest type usually focuses on the supermarket, such as dry cleaner or laundry. This mall can serve 2500 to 40,000 citizen in the six-minute drive. Also, most large-scale shopping malls are contained of the above services, such as medium-sized stories or common retail, and focusing on supermarkets. This mall can serve 40,000 to 150,000 citizen.” (Britannica, 2016)

When the designer planning the mall, it needs to consider the feasibility of community how to support the mall, include adequate vehicle access, the site size and terrain. “The shopping mall just a community center in that time, where the citizen can gather for shopping, social activity and cultural events.” (Gruen & Smith, 1960). “Shopping mall has to gather different retail place, which would be a pedestrian zone or unique pedestrian street, it allows shoppers to walk in the mall without vehicle traffic.

A lot of UK shopping centres are located in the city centre and it is built in the old shopping district on the street.” (New World Encyclopedia, 2015). The emergence of shopping mall brings convenience to local residents, it has to gather different element in this place. “The function of a shopping mall no longer focus on shopping, it has to provide public and activity space in the centre.” (Roberto Fantoni, 2014). In order to increase different shop type in the shopping mall, which has changed the layout of floors, such as APM, IFC mall etc. When this generation progresses, most of the shopping mall has built a covered bridge area for the user, it can connect to MTR station solve some transport issue.

Shopping Mall Development and Trends

American architect Victor Gruen finished the first shopping mall in the 19th century, he targets would bring vibrant communities in suburbs. Before the shopping mall happens, most retail is open near the street. For example Village of Beverly Hills. The urban develop was slow to change in that time, through urban planning to improve the lifestyle for people.

Urban Planning in USA

At that time, the residence was around the retail and the plaza. There only one floor in retail, which can show the relationship with residents and shoppers. “Based on that time urban development, most of the people use plazas would be young office workers. For some plazas place, the circulation distance is usually short. Those of user still predominate for retail. “(William H.Whyte, 1980, 16). As the shopper’s target is different, the city will build more retail elsewhere or build a building to collect more retail. In addition, the urban circulation of the community has begun to change. Those communities are also center around shopping centers.

“Some cities need 800 meters to reach the city center and look like a 10-minute walk.” (Adam Ritchie & Randall Thomas, 2009, p.13). Based on this situation, most shopping centers may be in a central location, and the urban structure will usually extend to develop, such as London or Manchester. In other cities, the different urban structure can reflect that place of culture and planning. “Some retail and services are always concentrated in the main streets along the street, and that development is dependent on the size and functionality of the mall, this urban planning can increase the competition from neighbouring centers.” (Adam Ritchie & Randall Thomas, 2009, p.17).

As the urban densification, most retail styles start to change, since citizens need more place to live, which influenced urban planning. In order to collect more retail in the same place, it was built a shopping mall in the urban center. At the same time, citizens of other cities need to drive to the mall. Between the shopping mall and another city, the shopping distance will spend more time. (John P. Dickson, Douglas L. MacLachlan, 1990, pp153-161). In this case, a different scale of shopping mall starts to founded between cities, which can solve traffic problem and increase urban efficiency. On the other hand, most of the place would be a school or resident in the Village of Beverly Hills, those of shopping mall distance is an inconvenience for them.

This situation usually happens in the USA, since the land place was too large, through a gathering place to become a shopping mall (Leanna Garfield, 2018). Among the traffic, the road is connected to the main function building, such as school, park, and shopping mall. Besides, Maryland of the shopping mall is one example of urban planning in that time. Between the shops is a public space plaza, designed a landscape to guide more visitors into. A middle scale of the plaza with retail is a lack in that time, most of the people need to drive their car go to the shop so that the planning of shopping mall has provided parking for them.

Urban Planning in Asia

“The rate of growth was too fast in the world’s cities, the United Nations think as the economy develops, and the world of 60% of people will live in urban before 2030. This case was the same with different Asia country, it will bring pressure to the city and government.” (Alison Chan, 2018) In Asia, the retail environment is the same as in the US before population growth, those of retail is open near the street and neighbourhood. As the urban densification, Asia building starts high altitude development, the activity area keeps decreasing. Most of the buildings are concentrated in economic development and housing. ”This density was bringing problems, as a central business area, where have 3000 people per hour by a site, and the car park area almost 50% in the city.” (William H.Whyte, 1980, p.90).

The First Mall in Hong Kong

“In the past, most of the residents mainly shop at the market, which can buy some necessities. The first shopping mall is Ocean Terminal open in 1966, it was the most iconic mall at that time. This is the world’s first joint shopping mall and waterfront terminal, it is also the first American shopping center in Asia. “(Mark Sharp, 2016). The site location is near the ocean and fish village, who can visit and shop in there. As the sea travellers climbed and local economic power grew, the shopping mall starts to change their consumer customers and products.

“The shopping mall has provided 112 shops and car park area for the user. In this case, the mall designer has found a good space for customers, which can better to attract more shopper shopping in the mall.” (Mark Sharp, 2016). “Hong Kong lack of shopping mall in the community at that time, which has already led the Japanese shopping malls in order to increase global value. The first global mall in Hong Kong is Daimaru (大丸), which company is Co., Ltd. (株式會社) open in 1960. The Japanese shopping mall has sold a high-quality japan product, targeting high-income families. Among 60% of the product come from Japan, it has lead to most people’s interest in Japanese culture.” (Hon Lo, 2014).

At that time, the service of the mall has brought out different payment style, which encourages more customers shopping. After a few years, it has free delivery and coupon to change customer shopping patterns. Almost Eighties, Japanese shopping malls has expanded business in Hong Kong. This situation has made more people feel the global culture. “The Daimaru mall continued until the end of 20th century. Almost the 90s, Hong Kong happens Asia financial crisis, most retail and economy are a sharp decline.” (Hon Lo, 2014).

So that the Japanese shopping malls started to withdrawn in Hong Kong. Between these times, the Japanese store sales method has been changed local people consumer culture. Through the global shopping mall, the public can understand the sales methods in the world. In 1920, the shopping center made an appearance in the US. “From 1950 onwards, most of the shopping mall spread too many countries, and it is an important commercial for the daily life to American People. Around 1965, the first shopping mall ‘Tamagawa Takashimaya shopping center’ opened in Japan in1969.” (Jcsc, undated). After the Second World War, Japan failed in the war. ”In 1950, Tokyo has lost almost a million people to evacuation or bombing.

The Tokyo population around 20% in Japan.” (Japanese Empire Demographics, 1908). Based on this situation, Japan needs to renew the urban, so it has chosen Tokyo famous site to build up Tamagawa Takashimaya shopping center. Through shopping mall to improve the urban issue, such as provide public space and culture place for them. In addition, some suburbs have dispersed refugees. In order to gather different citizens to the city center, it is a good idea to establish a shopping center to improve this problem.

Present Day Shopping Malls

Under the globalization, most of product and design are going in, those of shopping mall move to quality. Some global retailers have expensive products, it can through high-class consumerism to increase shopping mall value. Although retail stores provide good service to users, good store design is equally important. The first impression is important for the shopper, some retail is focused on the shop façade than the product. A compelling design can evoke the preferences of shoppers, and this style has the purpose to attract more customer. These trends have spread to global issues, and the retail industry has lost the original value of the mall in order to earn more money.


Overall, the shopping mall of developing and the trend keeps changing from the last century, among the mall of appearing have brought our different lifestyle for the user. In order to effectively understand the shopping mall with urban trends, different county develops of example can clearly to understand shopping mall issue.

Compare the USA and Asia, those of urban planning is different since it needs to consider the master planning, which provides a complete circulation for the citizen. Such as the USA of residential building main around the shopping mall, this looks like have a landmark in the center of the city. Shopping malls in different periods show how culture changes, such as the shift from local retail to global retail, and the shift in cash payments to credit cards, it has shown the shopper who changes their lifestyle.


Cite this paper

Shopping Mall and Lifestyle in Hong Kong. (2021, Aug 14). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/shopping-mall-and-lifestyle-in-hong-kong/

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