MALL MALAISE

Billion Dollar Maybe

Mall of Berlin Action press
Wanted: more mall rats.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    • The Mall of Berlin needs to expand beyond tourists who like to window-shop but not necessarily buy.
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  • Facts

    Facts

    • Mall of Berlin was built on the site of the legendary Wertheim department store, founded by a Jewish family in 1894 and confiscated by Nazis in the 1930s.
    • More than 10 million people have visited the mall since it opened six months ago.
    • The mall’s opening was delayed four months and fire alarms are still not yet working properly.
  • Audio

    Audio

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When builder Harald Huth opened his nearly €1 billion or $1.09 billion Mall of Berlin in September 2014, curious Berliners and tourists swarmed the shopping center on Leipziger Platz.

Nowadays, the atmosphere is different. The mall was fairly quiet last Friday afternoon, normally a busy time for retailers. On Saturday too, traditionally the most popular day for shopping, the only crowds were at the self-service food court.

Some retailers are disillusioned.

“The hype is over,” said a sales assistant in a fashion shop on the second floor. Berlin shoppers had discovered many of the same deals in other retail centers around the city, the worker said.

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