A shopping centre is a commercial building containing multiple sections merchandisers. In some parts of the world, it is called a shopping mall, shopping precinct, shopping arcade or an arcade shopping complex. This term may also apply for multiple shopping buildings connected by pedestrian walkways. It is considered the modern version of the traditional marketplace.
Shopping centres are often located in city areas. The original concept was to attract consumers to purchase in a single environment consisting of several different retail choices. These facilities usually provide large parking spaces for their customers, which also attracted crowds drawn by convenience and choice. Most shopping centres contain a food court, consisting of various food vendors selling different cuisines of food in a shared seating space surrounding the area. Department stores are also a common feature of a shopping centre that draws in consumers.
Shopping centres also have stand alone stores that generally represent many of the well known brands shoppers are familiar with, as well as multiplex cinemas. Often during the season periods and school holidays, shopping centres will provide free entertainment for children to keep them occupied while their parents shop. Shopping centres that are designed to serve larger districts are called regional and super regional malls. Many people enjoy shopping at a shopping centre for familiarity, safety, convenience and in many cases, undercover parking.