Forbes has released its annual list of the world's largest malls.
Most of them are quite ritzy, too. A pair of Chinese malls that rank as the world's two largest--the South China Mall in Dongguan and Golden Resources Mall in Beijing--include features like wind mills and kids' theme parks. Golden Resources Mall is surrounded by newly built apartments and office buildings.
Just four years ago, the top 10 list would have included a pair of popular California destinations--South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa and Del Amo Fashion Center in Los Angeles--along with the King of Prussia Mall in Pennsylvania and the famed Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn.
"It's almost unimaginable, the boom that has occurred in these Eastern cities," says Emil Pocock, a professor at Eastern Connecticut State University, whose American Studies department has documented the sizes and amenities of the world's largest malls. Many more of those regions' consumers now own cars, he notes, a phenomenon that has stimulated demand for more destination shopping centers. That's attracted money from mall-management groups from outside the country, largely from Indonesia and Japan.