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How do malls benefit society? What are its pros and cons? Participate in this active GD and win cash awards! Closing date: 6th November 2018.
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    Are shopping malls good for the wider society or merely promote crass commercialism? - active GD

    In every metro and even smaller cities, the number of shopping malls is now increasing at a great speed. They have effectively spread the already high consumerism, and at best, does offer some solace to those who do window shopping and eat something there in one of the shops for Rs.100 or less.

    Is this good for the wider society? One notices a certain and pronounced snobbish attitude of the rich who want to buy many things there, only to show off that "I am also here". The only good thing is that the multiplexes offer very good entertainment in superbly maintained theatres at a cost of Rs.150 and we can feel proud that only the elite come here.

    In a society where millions of people struggle to make Rs.200 at existing prices, are we not promoting a sort of crass commercialism? Would this not usher in huge Western values among the younger generation? Prices of every single item, including textiles, are very costly. Yet, "I purchased it here" sentiments and the tendency to show off are very much seen.

    What do members have to say on this?
    Note from the ME-
    We are converting this topic to an active GD and accordingly have tuned the title. Members can debate whether the malls merely promote commercialization, pointless spending sprees, and the like or whether the malls are on the whole really beneficial. Are malls just meant for the rich? How does it benefit the wider society?

    Bring your views to the table on various aspects of a mall, not just its shops and theatres, but other unique elements attached to it.

    Keep your views crisp and bring in points relevant to the topic of the GD. The best participants will get Rs.150/- each.

    Closing date: 6th November 2018.
  • #651835
    It's only in the variations of our perceptions in context to a certain commodity or services. For few these are affordable but for many more it's not possible to even think of such commodity or services but at that level too we can find the availabilities of those commodity or services at the respective prices that we have the vendors & sellers of all types & in all times. I agree with the author that we are more into show-off & at the same time interested to let others know of this. This has become the very mentality of most of us to think in accordance to it. But this is also true that as time passes the attraction of this for many of us gets reduced but is very again. Well we can't defy of this fact as this is human mentality.

  • #651837
    I feel as the purchasing capacity of many people increased and people are ready to spend money and purchase items, these malls are spreading more and more. Even though there are many such malls in almost all the cities and towns, the crowd in all the shops also is full. On the other day I went to a jewellery shop and after seeing the crowd there, I felt as if I am in a market rather than in a jewellery shop. Almost all the malls are also like this.
    But slowly the online purchases are also picking up. Even vegetables and other domestic requirements are also getting door delivered if we order online. As such I feel there may be some change in the attitude of the people and the malls' culture will also come down. Now big screen TVs and home theatres may see that the number of people going to movie theatres may also come down and new movies also can be viewed on our TV screens.

    always confident

  • #651905
    If somebody wants to show-off it is not our problem in any way. It is true that in our society many are struggling for a square meal but for that blaming a shopping mall will be of little use. On one hand it is mentioned in the thread that there is only one good thing in the mall and that is the well maintained multiplexes offer good entertainment where the author feels proud to enjoy those movies only with the elite, on the other hand it is mentioned that a lot of people struggles in the society to make Rs. 200. It seems from this comment that the author feels proud to be among elites only when a country like India has a large section of poor people.

    All these are created for our convenience and people go to malls because all the things are available at a single place. When you are feeling so proud of being with the elites to enjoy movies inside the shopping mall, it is not justified to question its worthiness for the society.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #651912
    Shopping Malls are now coming up at various places even in small towns and giving a tough competition to the traditional shops. Most of the shops in these Malls are really expensive as they have to pay for AC and maintenance and have to add this high cost to the customers only.

    Basically Malls are providing the people an opportunity to shop leisurely. It is not that old traditional place where you park you scooter in the front of the traditional shop, purchase the required items, pay the already fixed minimum prices and run away quickly to reach home. There is paradigm shift in our approach now. The people who can afford now go to the Mall as if they are going on a picnic. It is a project. They spend almost half a day there. Children enjoying their ice-cream and adults go for bigger indulgences. The shopping is done without an item list. You just roam around the stacked consumer goods and take to your hand cart whatever you want. In this melee you collect a lot of undesirable items also but who cares, let them be stacked in the house in one corner only to discard them after sometime.

    As the living standard of people rises further, these Malls will be more and more in your vicinity. For the poor who was not able to afford even the traditional shop items, these are only a dream places and there plight is today same as earlier.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #651916
    It's sad the small shops are not getting enough customers because of opening of the malls in the cities. In fact the rates of the things are costlier than the things we buy from the shops still people purchase them from malls. The reason being from the malls we can buy each and every thing from one place. I personally don't buy things from the malls because in my opinion I don't get good quality products from there even after paying the higher amount of money. I don't understand why people buy even the things they can buy from the shops nearby their home.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #652159
    Everyone, note that this thread has been converted into an active GD. Please read the updated text of the thread above and participate accordingly.
    When you make a commitment, you create hope. When you keep a commitment you create trust! ~ John C. Maxwell

  • #652164
    Shopping Malls are becoming a fun place as shopkeepers are coming up with new ideas to attract the people there. Ex tempore singing competition, flash dances, electric ride buses for tiny tots and many other on the spot competitions and lucky draws are being organised to lure the customers.

    So these are the places to pass your time but as far as shopping is considered barring a few shops, they are not meant for the wider society. A person from lower class of society will not be comfortable in that atmosphere as he can not afford to pay Rs 100 for a small sandwitch or snack item. He is in search of cheaper items for his day to day life none of whom will be visible there.

    So for some people it is like a paradise but does not stand merit for the society at large.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #652172
    Mr Shankalan Bhattacharya,please do note that we are discussing the plus and the minus. Yes, it is true that the multiplexes are very good and the movies can be enjoyed here. Please do note that this is always crowded with the upper middle class people and not the elite, as you have tried to point out.

    However, we are discussing whether the shopping malls are promoting crass commercialism. Answer this vital question. It is not that only shopping malls promote such commercialism. But they also do.

    Everything is targeted at the very rich,because of the air conditioned environs. Now, please tell me, is it fine to have a legislation to cap the number of shopping malls in metros? They also contribute to huge traffic problems, occupy huge commercial space and so on. So, is it fine to have this cap? Do not look at just one dimension. Yes, I do book and see the movies there. As a upper middle class Indian. Never do I shop there.

    On my part, am game with this cap since that will mean that everything is not left to market forces.

  • #652180
    It is true malls are expanding in almost all the places. Even small towns are also getting these mallls. Any new concept will have positives and negatives. In case of these malls also there are some merits and some demerits. I will try to list out the merits and demerits coming to my mind.
    Merits: The rates in some malls are very much comparable to other shops. In some cases the rates are less also.
    We can get all our needs in one place and we need not roam on roads for various items.
    Various brands of the same item are also available and hence you can have a better choice.
    There will be different amenities available here. If ladies are going for selection the males can take care of the children in the play areas provided in these malls.
    Some employment chances are also increasing with these malls.
    Small vendors in those areas are losing good business. Many of the shop owners has to look for alternative ways to make their living.
    By announcing various schemes and gifts these malls are making some people to spend more even they don't require the items.
    These malls are promoting many foreign company products and this is making many Indian companies weak.
    As a consumer with a proper understanding about my requirements I experienced overall some saving if I purchase my monthly requirement once in these malls.

    always confident

  • #652184
    Malls aren't a place for just rich anymore. It's an inviting relief for the large amount of middle class too. Every product and every commercial campaign ever, targets middle class because they are the ones that can afford to pay. Rich are obviously into more exotic and richer things so it's seldom that you see an ad targeted only towards the rich. Malls nowadays have many activities to entertain.
    Some of these include finger nail painting, tattooing, diabetes or weight checking, an unbelievable number of food outlets, cinema halls, cloth stores and etc...; I don't find clothes in malls ridiculously overpriced at all. Infact they are quite money for the quality. These malls bring out domestic and international makes alike and sell them at convenient prices.
    The food and movie tickets though are a little pricey. The food in malls are so pricey that recently government even issued a notice to regulate the taxing on the snacks.
    Malls are a place for recreation. And entertainment is costly. So there are some activities and items that you should choose to go to a mall for. You can get clothing from malls. Movies are fun at malls. There are departmental stores in every mall, which would sell items in a same price everywhere and they have wide varieties.

    So are malls exploiting consumers? Do they promote capitalism? Well, malls are found in every capitalist country because development reflects in metropolitan lifestyle. But malls sure don't seem to exploit the middle class because cities like Chennai gain a huge revenue from its malls, as a tourist attraction and local recreation.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #652188
    I'll give my views on the questions raised in the GD - Are malls just meant for the rich? How does it benefit the wider society?

    Malls are meant for anyone who can afford what is being sold there. These people needn't necessarily be the rich. They can be from low-middle class families, college students, part-time workers, in short anybody.

    People work hard, so they can choose to spend their money, the way they want, and it's a biased and unnecessary 'persecution' of them, to question their choice.

    Malls give a big boost to the economy. We need to open our eyes and see the big picture. Malls offer employment to scores of people, who would otherwise remain unemployed. Let me walk you through the realities and you can do the calculation –

    In the store
    The entrance of each store, in a mall, is manned by security staff.
    There are attendants in each section
    There are floor supervisors and an overall manager responsible for the store
    The billing counter is operated by people
    There are helpers outside the trial rooms, in stores that sell garments
    There are people responsible for keeping the store clean

    In the parking lot
    The parking lot of each mall has supervisors attending to sections of the parking area
    Attendants are there to guide the vehicles and prevent chaos
    Entry booths and parking payment booths are also staffed
    Security check of vehicles entering the parking lot is done manually
    Security personnel make rounds of the parking space

    In the mall
    The entrance is manned by security staff who scan bags on screens and people with metal detectors
    Security staff stands guard near the escalators to avert mishaps
    Security staff take rounds of the mall
    Cleaners constantly dust, polish and mop the passage ways

    Food court
    The food courts have many kiosks, with staff at the counter, and many cooks behind the scene
    Cleaners are always around to clear tables and clean spills

    These theatres employ -
    Usherers and movie operators
    Cleaning staff
    Staff at the food courts

    Gaming areas
    These too have dozens of people employed

    Behind the scenes
    There are people who work behind the scenes, such as electricians, pump operators, lift operators, genset operators, fire-fighters and blower operators. These people ensure that there are no breakdowns and the equipment function properly

    Stores have AMC contracts, for the maintenance of the equipment installed

    Items arriving at the stores come in trucks and labour is required to move the items to the store

    The producers and manufacturers of goods are employing staff at the factories, to meet the demand created in the malls

    Can we total up the number of people who are employed in the malls. Can we gauge how the standard of living of people has gone up because of malls. Many of those who are employed in malls, may otherwise have been unemployed.

    When malls provide a boost to the income of so many average Indians, how can they be bad for society? The same people who struggle to make Rs. 200 can earn a decent, five-figure salary, from working at these malls.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652191
    #652172, @ Mr. ABSivakumar, I didn't have any intention to argue on a particular point regarding elites watching movies at multiples. In my earlier reply, @ #651905, I have just pointed out your views where you said the following. "The only good thing is that the multiplexes offer very good entertainment in superbly maintained theatres at a cost of Rs.150 and we can feel proud that only the elite come here". You have only mentioned that elites come here, I have never tried to point out that elites go there to watch movies. So, my request to you is please read the replies thoroughly before coming to a conclusion.

    Now coming to the debate let me point out the advantages of the shopping malls.

    1. Malls are not a place to show-off the affluence, because anybody can go there to see and purchase things. All over the world the process of doing business is changing and people are getting much busier, so when they are in a shopping spree they prefer malls where stores of different vendors sell all the necessary items one require. From clothes to latest electronic gadgets you will get all and will be able to see the varieties and compare the prices before making the purchase.

    2. In malls there is nobody to coax you to purchase things and you can shop at your convenience. There are attractive offers for the customers and you can avail attractive discounts on many products during festive seasons.

    3. Malls have a parking lot, so there is nothing to worry about parking the cars at a separate place and bring it back again in front of the mall to keep the items you purchase.

    Malls have many advantages and generate a lot of employment which is definitely beneficial to the economy and lot more are coming up in different places keeping in mind its appeal to the wide varieties of people.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #652196
    The point about crass commercialisation is rather interesting, considering that even a small shopkeeper is consumed by it. Isn't he earning for himself? At the most, he employs a couple of helpers and rakes in most of the profits, for himself.

    We need to evaluate every aspect before hastily coming to a conclusion.

    Small shopkeepers sell goods at MRP. They do not pass on a part off their profit to the customer. Many big stores, in big malls, sell goods below MRP. How can they be accused of crass commercialisation; when they are benefitting the common man? A small shopkeeper makes the maximum profit that he can and keeps all the profit for himself.

    Grocery stores in malls are known to give heavy discounts, they sell items below the MRP. They also provide a regular and stable source of income to farmers because many of these establishments buy directly from the farmers. The produce is fresh, cheap and free from calcium carbonate and other harmful chemicals. They are doing good.

    Shops in the mall provide employment to many. In addition, they provide a pleasant atmosphere to shop in. Clearance and special occasion sales, whenever announced, offer huge rebates. There are also many exciting offers for shoppers. The price drop is genuine, on branded goods, and, the quality is assured.

    Small shops, on the other hand, offer none of these bargain deals. They are in it purely for money, without a thought for the consumer or their comfort.

    Further, shops in the mall issue computerised receipts. Their sales are well-recorded. You know that the taxes are being paid. Small shop owners maintain no record of what they sell, so their profits are not known. Do they even pay their taxes?

    Taxes help bring stability to the economy. We can hope for better infrastructure, amenities and welfare schemes. Employment that the mall generates, directly and indirectly, helps in the development of the nation.

    People employed here, rise over the below poverty line. Families are able to educate their children, in good schools. They are able to eat wholesome food, maintain hygiene, improve their standard of living and save for themselves. Their future looks brighter and secure. What else could a nation ask for?

    Malls are wrongly being made out to be something with a villainous disposition.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652200
    Mr Bhattacharya, I stand corrected. Am sorry for the mistake. Kindly read as upper middle class, people who travel around in their own cars. They often get to watch the movie hang around for dinner and then head for home.

    Regarding discounts on MRP, small department stores where the customer can shop around have also started announcing discounts. They literally try to match the likes of Big bazaar and their competitors in malls. Our families never shop in malls. Yes, discounts are offered but the huge retailers like Pothys in Chennai also give massive discounts on their textile goods. They also offer air conditioned comfort. My son and hundreds of guys who shop in malls do inform me that the prices of textile goods are hiked and then the discounts are given for textile goods and for various other items.

    Even we see the textile goods and compare them with those purchased elsewhere, we often feel that the prices are higher in malls. Of course, the convenience, the sheer variety and the various facilities made available, have to be taken into account and hence the high prices are quite justified.

    We always have alternatives. For example, in Coimbatore Erode and other cities there is this chain called kannan department stores. They also offer discounts. Every single sale comes under GST.

    If we look at the snobbish attitudes that the malls open up, we need to discuss a bit on whether more of these are desirable. For example, there are some six huge malls in Chennai. Why should we have more of these is a big question mark. I really do not know if excess of consumerism is okay. It is actually conspicuous consumption. The money that gets spent on some sort of vanity could be saved. The younger lot do not appreciate the value of savings. They do not want to listen to any good advise.

    And let Members also visit the huge Saravana Stores,, in Chennai. The discounts given are far better than anywhere else. In fact there is a case study that Big Bazaar and Kishore Biyani learned their lessons only from this shop.

  • #652204
    Do Pothys and Saravana Stores or Kannan Departmental qualify as 'small shops'? I would think that each of them is a brand in itself. The only difference is that they are owned by locals. Each outlet of Pothys and Saravana Stores spreads across thousands of square feet, over multiple floors. They have numerous stores, in Chennai and across the state.

    Saravana stores grosses business in millions. And the quality is definitely not comparable to products available in malls. The target group of these stores is the lower middle class. Discounts, if given, are on unbranded goods. There is no way of telling the actual cost of the item, and whether the price was hiked to make the discount effective.

    I shop at malls regularly and can vouch that the discounts are genuine. I have purchased items at full price and seen the same item being sold, at a discount, a few weeks later. There is no hike in the price before it is slashed. Let's not spread falsity.

    Where does snobbishness come into all this? Wanting to shop at a certain mall does not make one a snob. That way, someone who shops at a Pothys or a Nalli or a Sarvana stores would also be a snob, for buying goods at a premium, airconditioned shop – right! [Last sentence here removed for being a personal remark ~ GD moderator.]

    Anyway, let's not digress and make the discussion regional. Let's stick to the actual discussion, please.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652206
    Just like you have your opinion,I have mine. Do not try to bring other things here. It is a fact that snobbish attitudes are seen. If you think it is not so, fine. You can always have a different point of view. Saravana Stores is for everyone. The groceries sold there are quite good in quality. They also pay GST and have billing. Everything like soaps are also sold under MRP prices. Go and check for yourself.

    Do not think I have not done my research. We are talking about whether excess of something is desirable or not. Period.

  • #652208
    It is also a fact of life that we have too much of spending, when times are good, there is not enough to manage when the times are bad. For instance, there are IT guys who find it difficult to repay housing loans when they either loose their jobs or when the increments are not given. The same guys had spent huge amounts on luxuries when the going was good. This is another aspect that needs to be understood.

  • #652220
    A good topic to debate upon.
    For anything there are two sides-the good and bad. Similarly Shopping Malls also have their pro and cons if we analyse them in a balancd way.

    But as per one guidance instruction about GDs in this forum, we cannot stand with a balanced view, but take sides -either this or that.
    Hence seeing that the cons are more, my stand for this GD as of now is:

    Shopping malls merely promote crass commercialism. They serve as a business and way of profit for the entrepreneurs behind them. I shal debate more on this in my subsequent posts.

  • #652226
    Everything has its advantage and disadvantage. The good thing about a mall is:

    1.One get everything under one roof. When we go to buy things from the shop we have to go to different places as they are not located at same place. Whereas in malls you can buy it from one place itself.

    2. These days due to lot of crowd people find it difficult to find parking place where as in malls one can find a place to park his vehical for free or for nominal fees.

    3. Mall is also a place to visit. These days People don't do shopping instead they just go for time pass there as one can find a theatre there and many more things to get entertained.

    Besides this there are disadvantages of malls also like:

    1. I have noticed the price of the product is kept high as compared to the price of the same product at shops.

    2 They are threat to small shops as people now a days prefer to go to the malls for shopping.


    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #652231
    Pointless spending sprees can happen anywhere, one does not have to go to a mall for that. Someone earning a few thousand, a month, may spend the money on friends or on movies or travelling by auto, instead of taking a bus or walking.

    I do not believe people spend in malls, more than what they can afford. The buying capacity is directly proportionate to one's income. All these examples of people losing jobs and unable to pay the EMIs a result of counting the chickens before they are hatched and not because of shopping at malls.

    These people need not necessarily have spent their earnings in malls, they could have bought a luxury car, gone on overseas vacations, booked an apartment with a famed builder. We just blame what we perceive as the cause for someone else's dilemma, without knowing the reality. It is overambitious planning if they book something that they can ill afford, knowing the uncertainty that looms in their professional life.

    How does one define mall culture or that it brings in certain attitudes? I have people tell me that they had, say, an ice cream at Baskin Robbins or Ibaco. Were they boasting or sharing information or making conversation depends on how I choose to see it.

    If I don't eat there often enough I would think that they are bragging – that is human nature. Most draw conclusions, without a thought. The nouveau riche might talk about their shopping experiences, maybe to show that they have 'arrived', but even then, I don't see it as common practice. Again, it is our own mindsets that believes the worst. I would be happy for someone who tells me that they shopped at a certain store and maybe appreciate their taste. I definitely would not judge their reasons for sharing their experience with me, nor look at them with disdain.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652233
    @ Juana spending more money in malls means its tendency of ours when see things we tend to buy them even we don't require them and when we don't see them we don't even think of buying them. In malls it happens we spend more than what we do on the shops that's what I feel.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #652239
    "Just like you have your opinion,I have mine. Do not try to bring other things here. It is a fact that snobbish attitudes are seen."

    I hadn't presented my opinion, I had stated facts. Of course, you are free to have an opinion, but the merit of every argument is always 'fact-based' not 'opinion based'.

    In one of your responses, you state that you do not shop at malls because you find the quality of products inferior to what is sold in shops. I don't agree with your assessment, but won't argue on that point since our interpretation of quality can be different.

    You also state that people go to malls for "timepass" and not to shop.

    Your latest response states, "…its tendency of ours when see things we tend to buy them even we don't require them…" How did you arrive at this conclusion, when you do not shop at malls? Your "timepass" statement contradicts your latest remark.

    And what is wrong in buying something that we see, like and want; especially if we can afford it. Do our purchases have to be just 'need' based? There is no harm done in splurging on ourselves? I think we deserve to pamper ourselves and sometimes give in to spur of the moment decisions. Life would be depressive and boring otherwise.

    People make use of the purchases they make. No one gets home and chucks the stuff in the dustbin. How right is it to discuss how others spend their money. Everyone should be free to make their choices.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652240
    Big malls are flourishing because of the big brands that they support. Many of them are international brands. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) is a revenue churner for the Government. And money flow is always good. FDI brings competition, which is good for the consumer - who now has more choice. Money brings growth which is good for the economy, these facts cannot be denied.

    For FDI to flourish we need to lay a strong foundation, and malls, are a sought of that foundation. So, yes, malls are good for the larger society.

    I do not agree with the claims purported by a few members, of small shop owners losing out on business.

    Small shop owners are not in the same league as the big stores in the malls. They cater to an entirely different clientele. The wares they sell are starkly different from what is available in the malls. The shop owners will continue to have a hold on their clientele because not everyone shops at malls and not everyone can afford branded goods – something that has been established.

    The point is will someone who prefers quality or a brand, choose to shop at a small shop? I don't think that would happen. The target consumers are different.

    It is a simple case of the haves and have-nots.

    We don't mind stepping into a mall to watch a movie - it's something we like to do. But, we have a problem with others who choose to shop there because we rather promote local business houses.

    Most commercial establishments generate revenue for the Government. A mall would be charged a higher rate for power consumption. Property tax rates are higher. Shop owners have to seek licenses and register their outlet, which adds big money to the Government's coffers.

    I don't know about other cities, but I have seen this divide exist way before the mall culture took root. Delhi, where I was born and raised had an elite shopping area, where diplomats and people from high-class society shopped. I am referring to Connaught Place. Later, such markets cropped up in other localities in the city. The middle class continued to shop at Karol Bagh, Sarojini Nagar and Lajpat Nagar, while the rich shopped at the Haus Khas Village, Khan Market and the various emporiums at Baba Kharak Singh Marg and at boutiques and concept stores.

    The stores existed in harmony, as it were, without one infringing on the business of the other. Two parallel worlds have always existed, in every stratum of society, be it education, medical care and housing etc.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652241
    @Juana for your question "How did you arrive at this conclusion, when you do not shop at malls?" I don't shop from malls that doesn't mean I don't go to malls. Yes I go to malls for watching movies and what I see there youngsters sitting on the corners or the stairs and passing time. They don't buy anything. Even I have observed when my wife goes to mall she tends to buy many things which normally she doesn't buy from the shops nearby our home.

    " It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not" ... Andre Gide

  • #652244
    As far spending spree is concerned it will vary from person to person. Some people will go,see and whatever then need will be purchased by them. For such people malls will offer a good choice. People who want to waste money can do that anywhere. They need not come to malls.
    The malls will have direct contact with the manufacturers and they will purchase from there. So they will have price advantage.
    Coming to quality of the products,the malls will have different brands and you can select any brand you want. A good mall will never sell duplicate goods.
    So I feel it is good to have more malls which will offer reliable goods at a reasonable price and you will have everything under one roof including entertainment also.

    always confident

  • #652246
    So far I grasped two things from current discussions. 1. Some items in malls are costly
    2. You can go on a shopping spree in a mall.

    Well.. I disagree. Let us take our classical Indian bazaars that are there in every state. Hyderabad and Mumbai especially have infinite number of bazaars like that, lined with items. Items from lipstick to cell phones. During festivals, because of huge rush, even these bazaars throw discounts. Now tell me, how were these bazaars different from malls. You might say that malls display high end products. But it's not true. High end products are only at the display and if you wanted a quality purchase but in budget you can delve deep and get it. Yes ofcourse you can't bargain in malls as the bill comes in form of receipt deducting taxes.
    You can go on a same shopping spree in bazaars too. In fact countries like Thailand, Spain, Italy and Mexico, thrive through these bazaars more than the malls. These bazaars also include flee markets, caravan sale, exclusive sale, fairs etc

    The commodities you get at these bazaars differ in quality from vendor to vendor. Malls are no different, except you have an unseen brand to blame here than a vendor. Malls are just a glorified form of these bazaars. A westernized version of what was there since centuries.
    People go on shopping sprees in these public market places too. And its easy to understand why. With all objects laid out before eyes and bargaining option available, its anyone's guess that one would shop more.

    But in above mentioned countries these bazaars work as tourist attractions than government revenue sources. Most of these bazaars are illegal, being set up anywhere and easily. But malls are authorised and have a particular share to return to government as taxes. So one can argue choosing malls over bazaar is a good thing as you make sure the income is taxed.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #652247
    And to the claim that things are pricey at malls, I already mentioned to buy what commodities at malls. For many malls, the golden egg is their clothing shops. And according to many the reason is the presence of Forever21, Zara and many other exclusively women oriented clothing companies. Ok I'm not saying that women prefer malls to buy clothes more but many of my female friends and relatives do so. Women have specific attire design in mind and to scour for them from shop to shop is a waste of time and money. These malls have these big clothing companies in them that serve as a beacon to industrious women. Women deserve the best and that is what these big names claim to give.

    If you want to buy clothes for cheap, you can always do it online. But what if you wanted clothes for an occasion. These big companies with their best brands will add to your festive mood. Even if the prices are jaw dropping you can always just click pictures of the beautiful stores or the location itself to your heart's content. Its no rule of a mall that you have to buy something. You could just waltz in, click pictures and come out like you own the place. Or if you have 50s or 100s to spare, you can play arcade games that are there in every big mall.

    But the food in malls are just over priced to ridiculous levels. The food is not even delicious. According to me you can buy anything from a mall but food. I always saw malls as a tourist attraction than a place of trade. They are places of recreation. And more the places of recreation, the more developed a nation looks.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

  • #652262
    Small shops in villages offer very good products at less price. But shopping malls, even though they sells costly products, offer some experiences and ambiance which we won't have at a small store. Also they provide more facilities like car parking and children's play area. Sometimes even though we want to buy products from small stores, we won't be to do that because there is not enough vehicle parking area near to it. So it becomes tiring to purchase from small shops. We have to park our vehicle in another place , purchase the products and take those to our vehicle which is far away through a busy roadway. Considering all those chores people will go for more convenient place where we can take the products we purchased to our vehicle in a trolley. I think govt. should think bout it seriously and place all the small stores in one place and provide enough parking place and play area for small kids so that more people will come to their shop and purchase more products from them. Also it will reduce our traffic block near the shops.

  • #652263
    I accept the point of Aditya that the food in malls is not upto the mark. It is true in many cases. There may be one or two exemptions for this. Cost wise they are high in almost aal the malls. The reason for this may be you don't have a choice. You may have only one food court where you have to eat. That is why when we go to any of these malls we will not visit the food courts there. We will complete the job there and then try to visit a nearby known restaurant. Unnecessarily wasting money on the items you don't like may not be a wise point.
    Movie tickets are a little costly but these days we prefer the timing and the reachability more than cost.

    always confident

  • #652275
    Malls are not a modern concept. We have Malls in many cities. We have 'Mall Road' or 'Mall' in certain cities and towns. That means Malls were there earlier also. Example Mall Road Kanpur, Mall Road, Shimla etc.

    We are all familiar with the 'Markets' or Marketplaces. Everything needed s available under one roof or in a small specified area. They were very convenient. They were convenient for the producer -distributor seller and also the buyer. Those marketplaces or Malls were retail shops of various products, all situated in one common area, so that the buyer can do his shopping n one go.Similarly the seller can reach his wares at one specified place. They were convenient for providing infrastructure etc. These Malls were catalysts for further developments in those places.

    Then why modern Malls gave rise to different opinions and views? Mainly because these Malls were started by big private corporate with heavy investment and the sellers and shopkeepers belonged to high cost high branded or exclusives. Their very appearance and operations ( when they came in ) created a doubt and apprehension in the minds of small buyers that those places are out of bound for them. The same fear was there in the minds of small neighbourhood retailers.

  • #652279
    Today's Malls have a basic character.They are 'air conditioned, sanitised,standardised and stereotype'. They have a prime 'Anchor stores'. The one whose progress or downfall affects the popularity,progress or downfall of the whole mall. People come to the mall led by the popularity and faith on the central anchor store. Then they visit and shop with other outlets in the Mall. But when the anchor store loses its popularity and client loyalty, the footfalls become less and naturally the other outlets also get affected and may have to close shop.

    The Malls are not suitable for small and urgent shopping. For example when we discover the sugar or salt is exhausted in our house, we cannot go to a Mall and buy it. We have to rush to the nearest neighbourhood retailer only. The neighbourhood retailer is our "Aapatbaandhava'. So we cannot ignore him nor sever our connections with him.
    Thus our relationship with a Mall is not of any stable and loyal relationship, but of a temporary infatuation and overall convenience and profit in bulk buying. It is more of style and show rather than of necessity and benefits.

  • #652284
    You make this a gender issue. Let me remind you that Zara and Forever 21 have a men's line too. Men shop at these stores too. These stores exist because there is a demand. Everything works on demand and supply. Malls exist because there is a demand for high-quality branded goods.

    Products in malls are 'costly', and I believe that is a relative term. Some people may not mind paying for the quality. Is it a place for budget shoppers, maybe not, but I have seen shop staff, keeping aside items, for themselves, during sales. Budget and mid-range stores, though few in number, are also there - Big Bazaar, Reliance Trends, Pantaloon, Globus and FBB

    Not all food served in malls is bad. It is only the small-time vendors selling out of small kiosks that serve bad food. If you step into a decent place like Nando's or Mainland China, you will definitely be served better food. The quality of Burger King, KFC and other fast food places is of the same standard, everywhere. Malls offer a fine dining experience too.

    You have confused the word Mall, used to describe the promenade in Shimla, to mean something else. Please check the definition of the word.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652295
    In this debate I have seen a member raised the question of malls contributing to traffic congestion and occupying large commercial space. Both are absolutely irrelevant. Malls are neither built in the middle of the road, nor are traffic movements regulated near the malls. Yes, if many cars are coming out of the mall's parking lot at a time, then the security personnel may intervene to manage the traffic at that place which is temporary.

    Isn't it usual that a place of intense commercial activities will occupy a large commercial space? Nobody has encroached upon the space and they are constructed after following all the necessary guidelines.

    I agree with Juana Ma'am that the products which are termed 'costly' by few members are a relative term and varies depending on many things. In case of fabrics, people touch it to feel the fabrics, they even try the materials in the trial room, but the cost depends not only on the fabrics but the weaving methods too. Apparently you may feel two different clothes made by different weaving techniques same, but the cost varies on the techniques too. For example, hand loom fabrics and power loom fabrics may have many similarities but the pricing varies. Stores in the malls are always bulk purchasers so it gives a boost to the manufacturing sector too.

    There was certain statements regarding time pass by youngsters inside the mall. If somebody has quality time to spend, they can choose their places too. Malls are a place to hangout also and many people go there to have a nice time with their friends. I do agree that people spend lot of time in a mall to purchase things and that is because they have a variety to choose from. When there are varieties to select from, it's natural to spend some more time to make a choice.

    Going by all these advantages, people who can afford will always prefer malls rather than going to exclusive stores.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #652296
    Malls may be coming up at places but the importance of corner provision shop near our has still got its own value as we can not go to Malls for our petty requirements. Malls are bringing up a new culture of consumerism in our country and that is more akin to the middle and upper class. The lower class is totally out of having those advantages of Malls which have been narrated in some of the above posts.

    A poor person or labour class needs a corner provision shop for his purchases of items in 50 gram or 100 gram quantities also. He is not bothered for good packing and wrapping and wants maximum material in minimum amount. He mostly goes for loose items which are the cheapest proposition for him.

    So definitely the Mall culture is polarising the society to that extent.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #652309
    I don't agree with the point that malls are creating traffic jams. In fact, they are reducing the traffic on roads. If there are no malls people will be roaming the cars from one shop to another shop and the whole day the cars will be on the roads to complete their purchases. But now once they go to a mall and park the car there, they will keep the car there at least 5 to 6 hours and they will complete all their purchases here itself and even they may go for a movie and come out only to go directly to back home. So the malls are better to reduce the traffic.
    Another point raised is Ladies spend more time in the malls. To some extent, I feel it is correct. But there are many young males who also have a lot of liking towards purchasing items will also spend a good time in the malls. But a very common appearance in the malls these days is the ladies going from one shop to other in the mall for their purchases and the gents will be engaging their children in the play area. We see many gents sitting somewhere and spending time with their smartphone or iPad.
    Another point of discussion is cost. I have already mentioned that personally, I am able to save a few hundred by purchasing all the items required for one month in these malls. You can check this fact in malls like Big Bazaar etc.

    always confident

  • #652311
    I am not in agreement with the statement that the mall is more of style and show rather than of necessity and benefits. If we are planning our purchases and we want to have the advantage of bulk purchase pricing, malls are necessary. This fact we have been observing by the increasing popularity for the malls in almost all places.
    Street end shops will be used for the urgent requirements which we have forgotten while planning for the month requirement but if we have made our list of requirement properly we may not have this problem also.

    always confident

  • #652334
    This post and subsequent responses gave a time consuming reading. Generally the opinions were for, against and via-media. One cannot come to a conclusion based on these arguments.
    Personally, I do not visit such malls. One of the best and largest malls of Kerala is very close to my residence, just a walkable distance away. It is the Lulu Mall. It was opened in March, 2013. The floor area for shopping is around 230,000 sq. meters.
    After opening I have visited the mall four or five times. Only once I went to see a cinema in the theatre within the Mall.
    Heavy rush is noticed in the Mall when certain incentives are announced. I notice that three different categories of people are gathering there. One group come there just to see everything and while off the time within the comforts of A/C. Another group is accompanying their children who want to play different games available there. Only the third group is visiting there actually for making real purchase.
    If we look at the families visiting the Mall we can see that majority are from middle class and upper middle class. Lower middle class go there to see everything and make small purchases. In Kerala tha recent figures show that there are 32,29,823 families which are below poverty line. This figure is 42.43 % of the total. The members of these families queue up in front of the Ration retail shops for purchasing rice, wheat, sugar, kerosene, etc. They don't go to Malls. Of the above BPL families 4.37 lakh families are in the Urban areas. These are brought to your notice, that is all.


  • #652335
    Shopping Malls are beneficial in those area, where there is a sarcity of resources to buy stuff and city is distant. I also prefer to have shopping malls specific to the need. For example: In certain areas of capital city, we have shopping malls dedicated to only Electronics. Also, infact for Jeans and Shirts stitching shops we have separate dedicated shopping mall. No doubt it helps and make it easy to buy from the best.
    Shopping malls having Food courts, Movies, Grocery and electronics at one place is something which is a trend and I prefer not to buy from those shops, as they are no doubt near by and convenient, but have too much hyped prices. If something is available at local shops and vendors, specially vegetables etc, I will buy from my local vendor.

    Iti Tyagi
    "Soar to Success"

  • #652336
    Even in some big malls, the vegetables are also being sold and prices are comparatively less for generally available vegetables. But they keep some additional items which are not available in the outside market. The prices of those items will be naturally high. So it all depends which product you like. Based on that aspect only the rate depends. If you have visited Lulu mall, varieties of vegetables are available there. Some vegetables are costly and some are less. Coming to malls with only certain products like electronic items with multiple brands products may be useful for big and specific purchases only. They are not like other malls which will have all the products. Whether we can bring those malls also into this discussion I don't know. As far as I know, such type of malls are very less.
    always confident

  • #652340
    I said that the concept of Malls was there in early times also. But then they were public places, where everyone frequented for their needs. They also had the space for entertainment and festivity. However present day Malls are private enclosed spaces with protection from climatic changes, and being a one-stop-step for everything from retail shopping to eating and entertaining.
    Obviously the establishment costs are huge. Where from this huge expenditure (at least rent,decoration and electricity) to be recovered? It can be only from the costs recovered from the buyer and /or the compensation given to the supplier. That is where the damage potential of the modern malls are hidden.

    Initially the Malls give everything on a discount. That is the promo time. It is to enthuse and entice the buyers who were til then buying from different sellers at different places. The promo discounts, the convenience of buying everything from one place , convenience of using credit cards which enabled impulse buying, and the availability of entertainment and food- all encouraged families to visist Malls as if an outing and wholesome entertainment.

    This helped a hyper growth for the Malls initially.

    Simultaneously, the neighbourhood shops were affected as they could not face the predatory tactics of the big corporate malls. The core and crux of the modern Malls lies there.

  • #652361
    In developed and rich countries Malls are accessible to everyone and they provide the people for their daily needs as well as their leisurely indulgence. On the contrary in developing and backward countries they are simply polarising the market and just making money by attracting a privileged segment of the society.

    In such situation Malls as well as corner provision shops both will be there for some time and we have to see which of them survive in these conditions in long run. There are cases in our country when many Malls were closed in places as the initial euphoria ended soon and the customer show in them started reducing drastically.

    Present Mall culture is not addressing the needs of our society across all the segments.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #652372
    Nothing in life is 100% good. There are always flaws, because of our perception - the way we look at things. The ideal world doesn't really exist, and if it does, it does so only in our mind.

    That being said, I also firmly believe that change happens every few decades. The mall concept is part of that change. Did we bother about the 'dhobis' who went out of business when washing machines were first introduced in India or pause to think what would happen to the 'chakki' shop when we brought home a mixer & grinder? Didn't we all welcome change when it suited us?

    Malls, as I have illustrated, in my responses, benefit the wider society in a multi-pronged manner. Malls create employment, generate revenue for the Government and give consumers a better shopping experience, along with providing good bargain deals and products below the MRP. Collectively, these factors benefit society, as a whole. I say, as a whole because the revenue generated comes back to the society, in various forms.

    It is not just those who can afford to shop there that have something to gain. Employment opportunities these malls provide have uplifted the lives of many. My observation is that women are a major workforce in malls. They can be seen everywhere – at the parking ticket booth at the entrance, in the parking lot, inside stores as shop assistants, security staff and operating the tills, as the cleaning staff, guarding the escalators etc. Malls have created employment for women and allowed them to become financially independent. This definitely boosts their confidence and brings them out from a life of dependency and penury.

    Small shops will not go out of business anytime soon. But, they must change their business tactics. Better customer service and better prices is a way to start. The common man will continue to shop at these shops but will change loyalties if something better is offered, elsewhere.

    Finally, the fact that malls are mushrooming everywhere indicates that the effects of their presence have been positive. Businesses would not invest in a project that was doomed. And the governments certainly see them as a revenue churner.

    I hope this answers the vexed question, whether malls are primarily for the wealthy or do they benefit society as a whole.

    I'd like to comment on points made by Sankaran and Umesh.

    That is a very high percentage of people living in the BPL category, I'm sceptical about it. The presence of malls has helped, enrich lives. the average salary offered is between 10k -15k.

    People in rich developed countries do have homeless people and those without jobs and many with low paying jobs (minimum wages). Malls aren't accessible to everyone. The concept of dollar and pound stores was developed there because people in low-income groups cannot afford high-end shopping.

    "A love affair with knowledge will never end in heartbreak." -Michael Garrett Marino

  • #652375
    Shopping malls are good for the wider society, that is what I can infer. No doubt there may be some issues against any new concept. But change is inevitable. We have more advantages than disadvantages to the concept of malls.
    So many new malls are coming even in small towns also. It is an indication that people are feeling the advantages with this trend of malls. The purchasing power of an average Indian has been increased and hence more shopping malls with various branded items and with good offers are coming in the market. So the coming days are for malls culture only and the major portion of the society is going to get into this concept.

    always confident

  • #652390
    I said in my previous post that Malls had a hypergrowth initially. In US they had now reached their saturation and now many malls are closing. It is estimated that " a quarter of American malls will close in five years" It ends with a line "And with defaults come bankruptcies -- lots an lots of bankruptcies." (ref
    It is then obvious how the wider effect is.

    "By 2022, analysts estimate that 1 out of every 4 malls in the U.S. could be out of business, victims of changing tastes, a widening wealth gap and the embrace of online shopping for everything from socks to swing sets." (source:

    The scene is going to happen in India also soon.

    Had the Malls been perennially beneficial to customers, the rot would not have happened. The Malls are now succeeded and defeated in their own tricks by Online shopping. Malls once served as a one stop spot for shopping, eating and entertainment. They became a sought place for dating couples, window shopping 'time-passers' and those families who wanted an outing for a total day out catering to needs of everyone in the family.

    The initial promo when died out, the costs gradually made total spend in a day not worth, especially for frequenting after the initial eagerness. It is anybody's guess and knowledge that the shops or other service outlet in a Mall are doing charity. The huge establishment expenditure in rent, decoration, lighting and providing other ambience and convenience have to be recovered. Definitely those costs will be bundled in some way hidden in the purchases or services availed. This in comparison to those available otherwise elsewhere will be of high cost. So by and by,except those who are adamant to be loyal to certain brands or monopolies , many will find them prohibitive or dissuading. By that time those retailers in the neighbourhood who were hitherto giving in credits also would have become more practical and would have resorted to some of the tricks of Malls. This will again affect the buyer as he has to pay high, get less or no credit or buy credit at some cost.

    The modern Malls which like many other modern facilities are the copy-paste style of western concepts. They allure the vulnerable youth and neo-rich to addicting habits making them believe that whatever they were practising was old-fashioned and unsustainable. It will be too late when they know the real facts that thy have landed in a quagmire of impulsive spending and living on credit or spending valuable time loitering in the artificial enclosures.

    It can be easily argued that nobody compels you to go to the Mall. The same can be argued in the case of all other habits including smoking. As far as they are available and inviting, the weak and vulnerable will fall into them. It is for the society to prevent them from such traps and this debate is also one of the methods of creating awareness.

  • #652404
    In the advent of online shopping, people are finding it comfortable to purchase things within their own comfort. They are choosing the online method mainly because they have a lack of time. But on the other hand, when they are enjoying a holiday and meeting friends, in many occasions they are going to malls for the meeting and enjoying the shopping too.

    The excitement of shopping by seeing the products in front of the eyes and online shopping is quite different, though there are many apps and methods to make online purchase interesting. Every technology and methods have their own user segments. Each segment of people is choosing their own methods and all are running side-by-side. The arrival of malls never closed down the traditional shops and this online purchase is also not going to affect the sales of malls. New business techniques are evolving and every vendor is finding the new survival techniques. So, all varieties will coexist.

    The wealth gap is increasing due to many factors but the necessary items will always be purchased by even the weaker sections. The analogy of the habit of smoking and shopping is not reasonable. While smoking is an addiction, shopping may be an addiction too for few, but people who really require products to purchase will choose a place where they can get all their requirements under the same premises. Businesses close down if they cannot make profits. If few malls couldn't generate profit they will automatically close down their business, but blaming the malls for indulging younger generation to purchase more is not justified as the spending habit of individuals do not follow any rules. Malls cannot influence the behavior of a society and it is the society for which all different methods of businesses do evolve. So, as long as people will prefer going to malls it will exist.


    "Life is easier when you enjoy what you do"

  • #652409
    Shopping malls are a necessity in today's world for a wider society. The numbers of shopping malls are increasing day by day at a greater speed replacing independent retailers and other bargain shops.These malls can offer everything under one roof providing huge employment opportunities. But, the mall culture is also not sustainable. As explained in the response #652390 these businesses are reaching saturation and stagnation.

    "In a society where millions of people struggle to make Rs.200 at existing prices, are we not promoting a sort of crass commercialism? Would this not usher in huge Western values among the younger generation?
    Consumerism helps the economy to grow. Competition brings down the prices. The rampant consumerism, exploitation of people, complete reliance on growth in profits is the evil part of the Capitalism, which can destroy everything. Capitalism without greed can make more and more people out of poverty. In a free market economy, as soon as the standard of living of everybody reaches to a decent level then the whole system starts collapsing.

  • #652414
    As the time is closing in, I would like to conclude my argument.

    1. Are malls killing employment of the roadside vendors and smaller shops? Yes. But it depends on what kind of vendor you are. Nowadays with surge of organic food, malls are sporting organic vegetables and fruit stores. Many stores can be assimilated in malls . Growth of malls is definitely as lash to small scale vendors. But growing online shipping and shopping has killed the habit of mall-goers too. It's just about time in future as a member suggested that online shopping will completely take over the "mall practice".
    But malls are difficult to establish and costly to run so no matter how developed a nation is, malls won't take over domestic market places. That is for sure. Malls are too few currently and will be forever to significantly impact the economy of these small shoppees.

    2. Are malls sending us on a shopping spree? Not really. I already mentioned how people buy in bazaars. Flea markets and weekend markets attract many people, which is a large amount compared to malls. Malls aren't the ones to blame. We always like variety in the place we shop. So it's more in the mentality than the places here.

    3. From the beginning I have been telling. Malls are places of recreation. So what is even wrong in 'I'm here sentiment'. It is just normal. Malls, like places of tourist attractions, have a sense of beauty in them. People like clicking pictures there and doing activities there. So what is wrong in having fun?

    4. The roadside markets and mobile markets are sometimes set up illegally. They are not tax payers. But we neednt have such doubts with malls. Quality only gets better in malls too. So why haste or risk at those places when you can buy stuff at malls.

    So I am fully supportive to malls in this agenda as they are an attraction and a good source of revenue to the nation.

    The stronger a light shines the darker are the shadows around it.

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