How to Start a Mall

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The first thing to decide before starting a mall is to make sure that there is no other similar entity in the immediate location, which is preferred for business. Malls, especially ones with
the popular brands and the new international brands, are performing well.

There are several reasons for such performance but the major reasons are the increasing levels of disposable income among various strata of the society and the general tendency to go for branded goods, which are more likely to be available at the malls. Yet another reason behind the good performance of the malls is that the returns are really great for all the parties involved.

Steps to be taken in order to start a mall

Choosing the mall's location

While selecting the location it is better to go for a large area as that will help the mall owner to get in a greater number of participants. Buildings that have previously served as or are presently operating as large grocery stores, warehouses, department stores, or supermarkets are always good options as more often than not they have the necessary infrastructure to start a mall and this helps the owners in minimizing their costs as well.

With empty large buildings the major advantage is that the owners are ready to lease it at relatively marginal rates. Even if they are to sell it, the prices are marginal. It needs to be remembered that with such buildings the owners are only losing money for every day the building stays empty. It is also better to get a commercial realtor as opposed to a generic one as the later often have connections to the landlords.

One more thing that needs to be remembered while choosing a mall is deciding on the parking space. The parking space should be adequate enough or else the mall may face problems in attracting enough customers for it to be a profitable enterprise.

Structuring the mall

Space is an important factor when it comes to designing a mall’s structure. To start with the owner needs to divide the floor area into definite blocks as per the requirements of the companies or entities that will be operating over there. There has to be enough space between the shops so as to ensure that visitors, buyers, and vendors are able to do move about and do what they want to without any problem whatsoever.

While designing the booths the mall owner should only concentrate on creating the simple frameworks like the following:
  • Corner pillars
  • Wall footers
  • Wall headers
They should also desist from building any of the following structures as it is the responsibility of the tenants or store owners:
  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Any similar amenities
The construction and decoration of the space being allotted to a tenant should be left to them. However, there are some amenities that an owner needs to provide:
  • Cooling
  • Basic janitorial services
  • Lights
  • Security
  • Primary electrical outlets
It is judicious to get professional electricians to set up the wiring of the available spaces and better to make sure that each has more than one outlet for its electric equipment. The electricity costs should be factored into the fee to be paid by each tenant. The owner can determine an aggregate electric cost for the entire mall and then divide it by the number of tenants to come to an agreeable figure.

Contractual agreements with tenants

The pricing of areas should be done in a reasonable manner and the figure should be agreeable for both the parties involved. It is also better to make sure that the tenants are only selling fresh and legal products without any copyright implications whatsoever. The mall owners can also put up signs with these requirements before agreeing to take a tenant. Such an effort will make sure that their attempts to have a clean business are visible to one and all.

Mall timings

The mall timings should be decided in consultation with the companies or entities involved. The demographic of the target customers, their office timings, needs, and financial capabilities should also be closely studied or monitored before a decision is reached in this regard. The owner should also arrange sufficient security to make sure the mall is well protected, especially when it is closed.

Selection of companies

To start off it is always convenient to have the best brands come calling. Even if that does not happen the mall owner should make variety his or her preference. There should be zero predominance of any single form of product, otherwise the mall will risk limiting its appeal and thereby its customer base.

Studying the competition

In most cases similar malls are the biggest competitors for each other. It has often been seen that major stores are eager to get some space in a mall and market their products at lesser rates provided the mall has a new clientele.


It is better to explore as many channels as is possible for increasing the mall’s visibility and building up awareness among potential customers. However, all this should be done keeping in mind the very important factor of financial viability. It is better to highlight the top brands that are present in the mall or focus on the best offers and facilities available in the initial stages. The owners, though, need to remember that their strategies need to change with respect to the area where they are advertising. A good research into the local demographics comes in really handy in such cases.

How to make it work

In order to make the mall a successful one the owner should ensure that it offers quality stuff for its buyers, which will help in steadily building its brand value among them. It is also necessary from time to time to provide special offers especially on festive occasions so that the popularity only increases.

List of the leading malls in India

Entrepreneurs looking to start a mall in India can take the example of the following and do extensive research on them to get a proper idea of building and operating one:
  • Mantri Square, Bangalore
  • City Centre Mall, Mangalore
  • Ambience Mall, Gurgaon
  • Spencer Plaza, Chennai
  • Great India Place, Noida
  • Select City Walk, New Delhi
  • R City Mall, Mumbai
  • Nirmal Lifestyle, Mumbai
  • High Street Phoenix, Mumbai
  • Oberoi Mall, Mumbai
  • South City Mall, Kolkata
  • DLF Place, New Delhi
  • Inorbit Mall, Hyderabad
  • DLF Promenade, New Delhi
  • Inorbit Mall, Mumbai
  • Triton Mall, Jaipur
  • Alpha One, Amritsar
  • Iscon Mega Mall, Ahmedabad

Last Updated on May 13, 2015