The World’s Biggest “New South China Mall” Rising from the Dead

The New South China Mall is a picture of fascination and intrigue. It is the largest mall in the world, a splendid work of architectural creation that is capable of attracting 70,000 shoppers each day. It has an eighty-two feet high Arc de Triomphe, a giant Egyptian sphinx, impressively huge indoor and outdoor roller-coasters and 1.3 mile canal with gondolas to boot.

Only one thing has been missing so far – the shops.

New South China Mall

Yes, the largest shopping in the center in the world created in 2005; has been empty ever since. This is the reason why it has been as the Dead Mall. However, there have been visible signs of improvement since mid-2015.

The South China Mall with 5 million square feet of shopping area was the brain child and financed by Alex Hu Guirong, a person hailing from Dongguan, who became a billionaire by selling instant noodles. When the mall opened its doors to the public in 2005, almost all of its stores were leased. But stores didn’t really appear and the occupancy rate was one percent for nearly ten years.

The irony is that South China Mall has been designed intricately; it has seven zones, each of them representing a tourist place – Amsterdam, California, Caribbean Islands, Egypt, Paris, Rome and Venice. These zones were painstakingly created with two years of research work and detailed work involved. While South China Mall is the biggest mall in the world by gross leasable area, the Dubai Shopping Mall is the largest shopping mall in the world by total area. The latter attracts as many as 54 million visitors each year.

For eight years, the only people who were seen in the mall were security guards, some fast food centers who would cater to people who come to the amusement park and IMAX cinema, outside the mall. One of the teething problems that lead to the failure of the mall was the fact that it lies far away from transport networks and the airport. Even if one would take public sport, it would take hours to reach the mall, an irksome effort that would turn away most people.

Spending so much money to visit the mall and then pay a bomb to buy products was not exactly what shoppers were looking for. The mall also had a re-launch as New South China Mall in 2007 but was a failure again. The bubble burst in the real estate space added to the woes.

New South China Mall – The Successful Turnaround

2015 witnessed a marked rise in visitor attraction at New South China Mall. Shops, restaurants and entertainment facilities have come back with a vengeance and so have the visitors. Of course, the mall is far from having steady visitors but there are encouraging signs as there is massive renovation work going on in the unoccupied units. The improvement stems from the fact that the mall has shifted its focus and is working on a competitive pricing platform.

While most high-end malls in China target the high end consumer, New South China Mall has understood that success in retail space lies in attracting the middle-class Chinese and giving them many options.

How to reach New South China Mall

The closest airport is the Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport. From the airport to the mall, it is a distance of 1 hour and 11 minutes, by a private car.

Public transport from the airport can involve 3 hours and 50 minutes of travel, on a busy traffic day. There is no train access.


  1. transport problem to be taken care so that people can come to mall easily and govt or private companies should take up real estate and job creating centres near the mall to attract customers

  2. transport facility must be improoved as not easy for common man to reach at mall as it takes 3-4 hours. massive projects be taken by govt. so that more and more people come to live near mall

  3. Imagine taking 3hrs to go and buy ketchup and another 3hrs back home; while a world cup football match is going on. You took 2yrs to research on a tourist touch but 2minutes on shoppers accessibility. Tourist go to zoos, shoppers go to malls.

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