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A shopping mall, shopping center/centre, shopping arcade, shopping precinct, or simply just a mall is one or more buildings forming a complex ofshops representing merchandisers, with interconnecting walkways enabling visitors to walk from unit to unit.
Other establishments including movie theaters and restaurants are also often included.
As traders moved into more spacious shops in the early 19th century high streets developed, but wealthier people (who could afford to travel to city centres for pleasure) started wanting shelter from rain, so shopping arcades were developed.
With new innovations like escalators these evolved into shopping centres and with the rise of the automobile these evolved into shopping malls.
From early on, the design tended to be inward-facing, with malls following theories of how customers could best be enticed in a controlled environment.
Similar, the concept of a mall having one or more "anchor stores" or "big box stores" was pioneered early, with individual stores or smaller-scale chain stores intended to benefit from the shoppers attracted by the big stores.
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