By Zoe Pollock
The title belongs to the New South China Mall in Guangdong province:
With more than 7 million square feet of leasable space, the mall was supposed to have over 2,300 stores and was meant to be the largest in the world. The developers estimated that the mega mall would attract at least an average of 70,000 visitors a day. As a comparison, the Mall of America in Minnesota, the largest in the US, is only about one-third of that size. Even the massive West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, the largest in North America, pales in comparison. In their initial promotional material, the developers boasted that the mall would become a “one stop consumption center” and “a global business model.”
However, since its opening, the mall has no more than a few dozen, mostly small tenants at any single time. Over 99% of the retail space has been vacant and will probably remain so. As a result of its disappointing performance, the planned luxurious Shangri-La hotel was never built; nor were some of the supporting facilities. Yet, given the magnitude of the project, the mall is not allowed to fail, and has even been designated as a tourist destination by the government.
(Photo from Wikimedia Commons)