A typical shopping centre in Australia has a similar layout to malls in Australia, but they serve a different purpose. The main function of an American mall is mainly for discretionary spending including clothing, shoes, entertainment and restaurants. In Australia, a shopping centre serves the same purpose, but also fulfills everyday shopping needs as well. Read on as I explain how:
|Shopping trolleys at a mall? In Australia that is not unusual.|
Underground Parking: I am not a fan of grocery shopping at the best of times, but I really hate it when it is pouring down rain. This is not as big an issue in many shopping centres in Australia as most offer underground parking. Many shopping centres have built a couple of parking levels below the stores so patrons can park undercover and not get wet when it is raining outside. While this is convenient it can also be tricky to find a parking spot on a weekend when the weather is nasty outside.
One Stop Shopping: A trip to a shopping centre in Australia can truly be a one stop for all of your needs. In addition to supermarkets it is common to have a chemist store (which is the same thing as a drug store), a butcher store, a bakery, a Newsagent (similar to a Newsstand/book store that you find in most American airports), and a post office. Many of the larger centres also have at least one large discount department store such a K-Mart, Target or Big W (similar to Wal-Mart). Many of them still have travel agencies which is something I haven't seen in a U.S mall in many years. It really was set up that you could park once and then go from store to store and get everything you could possibly need which was always nice.
|Source - The parking ticket machine at Charlestown Square in Australia.|
There are pros and cons for each. In Australia it is convenient to get all of your shopping done in one place, but it can be hard to find a parking spot on busy days and especially when it is raining. In America it is often easier to find a parking spot and the stores have better hours, but you have to make several stops if you have more than one store to visit.
Which option appeals to you more?