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Marketplace icons: shopping malls

Medway, DJ and Warnaby, G (2016) Marketplace icons: shopping malls. Consumption Markets & Culture. ISSN 1025-3866


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This article considers shopping malls as marketplace icons. We suggest that shopping malls can be regarded as a significant symbol of consumption in an age of late modernity, and highlight key aspects of their development. The role of the shopping mall as an agent of creative destruction, influencing the nature of the retail landscape (especially with regard to the implications of – stereotypically suburban – malls for traditional urban retail provision), is discussed. We also consider the implications for notions of “place” (in terms of authenticity and meaning, etc.) arising from the fundamental characteristics of shopping malls, and end by suggesting that the shopping mall, as a marketplace icon, continues to dynamically and iteratively define and refine the ongoing interactions between consumers, the act of consumption, and place and space.

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