Strip Shopping Centers, from Life in the USA: The Complete Guide for Immigrants and Americans

Life in the USA is a complete guide to American life for immigrants and Americans. All materials on this site Copyright © Elliot Essman 2014. All rights reserved.    Home    Back    next

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Life in the USA
Public Services I

dead strip mall shopping center

Not every strip shopping center in the US survives. This one has been empty for some time.

Strip Shopping Centers
Strip shopping centers are smaller than shopping malls and are rarely enclosed. In these centers, all the stores run in a single row facing a major road or highway, with parking in front, hence the term “strip” shopping center. These centers vary in size and number of stores. Many Americans do a great deal of their average everyday shopping in strip shopping centers.

Larger strip shopping centers have one or more “anchor” stores, usually a large supermarket or discount chain drug store to bring in shoppers. The remaining spaces in these centers are taken up by specialty stores; perhaps a dry cleaner, a small pizza shop, a medical or legal office, a clothing store or two; it can be anything. Smaller strip shopping centers have specialty stores only and no anchors.

In some suburban areas, strip shopping centers can adjoin each other, one after another, giving a vista of non-stop stores for miles on end, a true example of “suburban sprawl.”

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