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The mega mall is conceived as a biosphere, a self-contained metropolis where we could conceivably survive cooped up for the rest of our lives. It is our town square, our church, our theater, our general store, our saloon, our cobbler, our tailor, our park, our zoo. Even the lingo has changed: Shoppers are now guests, shopping is an experience, and malls are entertainment centers.

The shoppertainment idea has spread all over the world, from Korea’s Lotte World, which has a shopping mall, deluxe hotel, folklore center, indoor theme park, and sports center to Japan’s Torius Mega Mall, the country’s first American-style mall, opened in 1999 with an amusement park, karaoke bar, petting zoo, and bathhouse. Its developer, Torius, Inc., plans to open ten more mega malls throughout Japan by 2010. Sometimes, it is not even necessary for people to use the mall’s exciting bells and whistlesit’s enough that they just know about them. The Mall at Short Hills once offered helicopter rides to bring people from New York City to its New Jersey locale. Actually, nobody ever really rode in it, says Rosemary McCormick, president of the Shop America Alliance, a national consortium of shopping malls and retailers who market themselves as tourist attractions, and former marketing director for the Mall of America.

It was a PR gimmick but it was a great PR gimmick. The media loved it in New York City. In some cases, attractions aren’t added solely for the purpose of entertaining shoppers. Many shoppertainment malls have become massive billboards for companies. Corporate sponsorship is not only acceptable, it is highly encouraged. American sports fans rolled their eyes as stadium after stadium was renamed to promote some company: Staples Arena, Bank One Ballpark, Qualcomm Stadium, PacBell Park. Inside the malls you will see plenty of similar corporate canoodling, from the Mall of America’s Pringles Snack Stacks Showdown to the General Mills Cereal Adventure with the Cheerios Play Park and Cocoa Puffs Chocolate Canyon. In 2000, credit card company Discover Financial Services bought the naming rights to Sugarloaf Mills, a 1.3-million-square-foot outlet mall in Gwinnett County, Georgia, to rename the center Discover Mills. The unprecedented naming-rights deal is unlikely to be the last of its kind.We are Ladies – A blog about Beauty, Fashion, Makeup, etc. Ltf

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