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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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