Shopping Malls

3 Jul

Few days before, I went to APM, one of the largest shopping malls located in Kwun Tong, having lunch with my friend. There are various cuisines such as Japanese foods, Shanghai foods or Thai foods, etc. We had chosen Shanghai foods for lunch. However, after ten minutes, we still did not find where the Shanghai restaurant is…… In fact, the latest design of shopping mall in Hong Kong is quite different from the conventional one. Almost nowadays shopping malls are themed, and it has become part of our popular culture already. For example, “Citygate Outlets” is themed as “outlet mall”, “Discovery Park” is themed as “shopping park”, “Elements” is themed as “Chinese elements”, or “APM” is themed as a “lifestyle magazine”. As Gottdiener (2001) states, “fantasy simulation” was produced by theming phenomenon. The simulation was able to communicate with consumer through symbols or signs (Gottdiener, 2001, p. 108).

 

As we had seen the design of APM shopping mall, a numerous branding shops have opened at obvious floor location. Thus, when we were finding the Shanghai restaurant, all we mainly gazed were brand products such as “Agnès b.”, “2%”, “MUJI” or “Nike”, etc. rather than restaurants. The exterior and interior design of the shop was full of their updated products and displays (please refer to Photo 1). It is able to provide up-to-date trend (especially in fashion) for consumer instantly.

Photo 1: Shop displays were showing on the obvious area.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gottdiener (2001) also states theming phenomenon has created “simulated experience” for consumer. However, all we can obtain the “fantasy” or “simulated experience” within the mall or other theming spaces is controlled or regulated in fact (Gottdiener, 2001, p. 134). For example, when we were taking a lift to different floor or taking rest on the resting area at APM shopping mall, the mini TV was nearby which were broadcasting the latest news of the mall or celebrities. The express escalators also provided an area for us gaze the whole shopping mall and different shop advertisements, not merely for our convenience (please refer to Photo 2). In fact, our experiences are controlled at anytime and everywhere in the shopping mall.

Photo 2: Express escalators at the APM shopping mall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actually, the theme shopping mall is full of fantasies, as same as theme park. It provides a “pleasant environment” for our relaxation and entertainment. We are, therefore, willing to stay much more time to consume at the shopping mall in order to escape the “pressure” from the reality.

 

[405 words]

Ho Ka Yan, Karen

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