I will talk a bit about open air shopping centers or outdoor shopping centers. I really hate these open air shopping malls and most people I know feel the same way.
The word hate is strong and it is not a pleasant word to use. Let me explain. Some 15 years ago I landed at Don Mueang Airport and I needed to use the the bathroom. Bloody hell, the bathroom was not air conditioned. After a long flight I was very tired, sitting in the toilet doing my business, feeling sweaty, dirty and very uncomfortable. My t-shirt was wet in no time as if I had been running a marathon. It was a long time ago but the memory remains clear.
We have air conditioned cars, taxis, buses, trains, hotels, shopping centers, offices etc. Why? There is a reason, it is because it is a bloody hot country. Bangkok is the world’s hottest city when it comes to year-round intense heat. People that work at an office just don’t open a window to get a breath of fresh air.
It is not just the heat, it is more so the high humidity that leads to sweating and feeling uncomfortable.
The Avenue shopping center has many branches in Bangkok and all the branches are of the open air kind. Many lifestyle and community malls are of the same category. In Pattaya we have The Avenue Pattaya and it has never been a success.
34 – 35 degrees and a humidity close to a 100%, these are the conditions in Thailand. No wonder that people love these shopping malls, they can relax and feel comfortable at a pleasant temperature.
The Crystal Shopping Center on Pradit Manutham Road in Bangkok is yet another outdoor shopping mall. God knows why they keep building them. It is probably to save on the electricity bill, certainly not to please the customers.
Believe it or not, CPN has also jumped on the bandwagon, they have completely changed development strategy by taking the CentralFestival brand in a somewhat strange direction. The new Central Festival EastVille scheduled to open on 27 November 2015 will be an open air shopping center.
Dearest god, what in the world are they thinking? I think it is the mistake of a lifetime. Then again, they will probably save millions of baht on the electricity bill. They make money by renting space out and the customer flow is not an important factor for them. The customer flow is important for the shop owners and the anchor store, which in this case is a Central Department Store. The shops, restaurants and the Central Department Store are all air conditioned, but when you are wandering around in the mall you are at the mercy of mother nature and the lady can be rather cruel at times.
Published 10 September 2015