If You Build It, Will They Come?

Did you know that China has built the world’s  largest shopping mall?   I had no idea that this 7 million square foot mall even existed.   Yes it exists, but it has not been nearly as successful as they had hoped.  

Due to poor planning and lack of market research, the South China Mall sits nearly empty.   Anita Campbell, an  American Express Open Forum  small business expert, discusses the importance of planning in the article titled “The World’s Largest Mall Offers A Lesson“.  

It really is necessary  to establish that there is a demand for your product or service before you make that leap.    Afterall, you really wouldn’t want your business to fail  as badly as the  South China Mall has.  

6 Comments If You Build It, Will They Come?

  1. Ben Jones

    This is one of the things I am always very wary of. I have been sitting on a business idea for about a year now. I have all the reuired permits and docs but I am just checking and re-checking demand. I was about to start pushing things into action, but I think I’ll do some more market research today. :)

  2. Don

    What a huge disappointment that must be. This mistake is made far too often. You can’t expect something like a coffee shop to thrive in a rural area.

  3. Chris

    You know these malls and all of this building somewhat startle me these days. There are many empty shopping plazas and business storefronts available where I reside and yet – they keep building more while many sit empty? And many of the shops inside a mall do not entice me. They seem to be kitchy shops selling knick knacks that I don’t want or need. A large mall really needs several big anchor stores on board before even considering building. Because I’ve seen way too many empty storefronts in a two year old mall near me after only several months of being in business. And all of these existing empty shopping plazas are getting to be quite depressing to look at and they make the communities their in look like depressed communities as well. As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of large shopping malls :-)

  4. Martin Lindeskog

    I enjoyed the big scale malls and the small mom & pop shop in America. You could have both.

    Don’t look only on demand… you have to start with the supply first. The production is the first step according to my view. Otherwise you could be easily fooled by the “consumerism” a la Keynes.

    Ben Jones: Of course you should do due diligence and do a background and market research. But I have a “mission” to spread the word that it is OK to try an idea. If you haven’t tried, how should you know? I have learned plenty of things and got a lot of experience from our start-up company. We have learned a pretty expensive lecture, but at the same time we have got good “vibrations” from the market place and potential partners. Now we know what we should change, improve, develop, etc.

  5. Bill Campbell

    If You Build It, Will They Come is obviously one of the oldest sayings in the book and I completely disagree with it.

    As some people have stated in previous comments on this topic, ideas are a great things and you should never stop having dreams and following them. Everyone should understand that just because you have a great idea or a great product or service that doesn’t mean that it will be successful and you will make millions. If no one knows it exists or if they can’t find it, it is just a great idea, product, or service.

    Building “it” is the easy part of the battle!


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