One of the coolest retail malls I’ve seen anywhere
*Update-check out the latest post about the Pacific Mall in Toronto here it includes a video*
The Pacific Mall in Toronto is one of the most interesting ideas I’ve seen.
It was one of my favorite places that we visited while we are in Toronto. In fact, we visited several times. I have not seen a mall similar to this anywhere else.
Imagine 200 to 300 stores under one roof.
Unlike typical malls, that have a few major chain stores separated by smaller chain or franchise stores, nearly all the stores are about the same size. They are all fairly small stores I’m guessing maybe 16 x 20 feet in size. They’re arranged in a grid pattern of several rows with the outside walls of each store made of glass.
My guess is that it would cost much less to rent one of these smaller spaces than a full-size store in a mall.
This makes starting a small business a little bit more affordable. It also provides more variety for customers under one roof. Having many different stores to choose from in one place, increases the chance of customers coming to mall for any reason.
There is a lot of variety but there could be more.
There are lots of cell phone dealers. Possibly even more DVD and CD stores (including a lot of pirated movies). Vitamin stores and Asian health food stores. There are a lot of hair salons. Nearly all the stores being towards Chinese or Asian tastes.
There is a lot of duplication of what is for sale.
The DVD stores in the cell phone dealers make up a large chunk of the businesses. They all sell the same thing. They all must compete with each other basically on price, with those being near a main entrance being able to get away with a little bit higher priced as long as people don’t shop. Still there’s a lot to see and it’s a lot of fun.
There are a couple of other malls in Toronto that seem to be modeling themselves after the Pacific Mall.
We watched two security guards help a little lost boy search for his parents in one of them.
None of them, however, offers as many many stores or seem to be quite as successful. One mall shares its parking lot with Pacific Mall. This mall is really more of a traditional design with a couple Asian grocery stores at opposing ends. A mall just across the street from the Pacific Mall is using the same design but is much smaller. It was only open a few months before we visited so there weren’t very many stores in it yet. Both of these malls probably benefit from being close to the Pacific Mall.
It is the Very Fair Chinese restaurant. I’m not sure, but it could be the same Very Fair restaurant that the famous John Chow ate at. I’m not sure it is the same because he said he ate at the Very Fair Seafood Restaurant and the sign does not mention seafood. We did not eat there though.