Difference Between Shopping Malls and Small Shops (With Table)

In today’s working life, to meet our daily needs we usually visit a shopping mall or small shops to meet our requirements. The requirements can be our daily needs like groceries, or it can be the things we desire like clothes. They can be a source of entertainment too. 

Shopping Malls vs Small Shops  

The main difference between a shopping mall and a small shop is that a shopping mall is a large space, selling diversified items of goods under a different category of stores whereas a small shop is a small or a medium-sized store selling a particular number of items under a single space.

Shopping Malls can be defined as large enclosed space which consists of many stores displaying and selling a variety of merchandise to the people visiting there. Shopping Malls are an offline source of our requirements and leisure. Some stores in the shopping malls may have an online website to sell their merchandise too.  

Small Shops can be defined as a space where a particular item or some items are sold. Small shops do not have a variety of items to display or sell. They particularly deal in a single item or limited items. They are not diversified in terms of the items they sell.  

Comparison Table Between Shopping Malls and Small Shops 

Parameters of Comparison 

Shopping Malls 

Small Shops 


A large enclosed space selling a variety of items. 

A medium or a small sized space selling a particular number of items. 


It is a large enclosed area. 

It is a small enclosed area. 


It offers a variety of items. 

It offers a limited number of items. 

No of stores 

It is a multiple store place. 

It is usually a single store. 


Shopping malls offers entertainment options. 

Small stores do not offer entertainment options. 


Shopping malls are generally expensive. 

Small shops are generally cheap. 

What are Shopping Malls?  

The term Shopping Mall can be defined as a huge enclosed place offering a lot of merchandise to the people to buy. It is a large space consisting of multiple stores. Every store offers a different variety of items to the visitors.  

A shopping mall comprises various stores such as jewelry, clothes, eatables, specialized stores, etc. Shopping malls also have entertainment zones such as game zones, amusement parks, etc.  

A shopping mall is usually designed in a very beautiful manner to attract the crowd. People are always keen to visit a shopping mall without any reason too because of its attractive structure. It serves as entertainment for the people.  

Shopping malls serve various facilities to the customers such as internal heating and cooling facilities according to the weather, large parking facilities, game zones, cinemas, etc. People get attracted to shopping malls because of the facilities and the comfort they offer.  

A shopping mall has a variety of branded and non-branded stores. It offers a variety of things at a different range of prices. People prefer going to shopping malls over other stores because it offers a variety of things to choose from and the convenience to go all through all these varieties under one roof. 

What are Small Shops?  

The term Small Shops can be defined as an enclosed place offering a limited variety of merchandise to the people. Small stores fulfill the daily requirements of the people.  

Small shops are basically for people to buy personal and residential items. It does not offer a variety of items. People visit a small shop with the purpose to buy something. It does not serve entertainment to the people.  

Small shops provide merchandise to the people at less price compared to big shopping centers and malls. People usually visit a small shop to buy daily use stuff at a low price. A small shop is considerable to buy things at less price.  

Small shops comprise stores like a store for clothes, store for eatables, store for grocery, store for shoes, etc. There are also many shops which offer multiple items also.  

The disadvantage that the small shops are facing in today’s scenario is that people prefer going to the malls or big department stores because of the variety they offer to the customers. There is a decline in the number of visitors to small shops in the past few years because the shopping malls provide everything under one roof ranging from a basic necessity to high brand items.

Main Differences Between Shopping Malls and Small Shops.

  1. A shopping mall is defined as a place offering a variety of merchandise under a single roof whereas a small shop is defined as a place offering a limited number of items to the buyers.  
  2. A shopping mall is built in a very large area whereas a small shop normally covers a limited area.  
  3. A shopping mall has many stores and shops whereas a small shop is usually a single store.  
  4. The price range of the items in a shopping mall is normally high whereas the price range that a small shop offers is low.  
  5. A shopping mall also entertains the people by its game zones, play area, etc. Whereas a small shop does not have any entertainment source.  
  6. A shopping mall provides facilities like elevators, underground parking, etc. Whereas a small shop usually does not offer these services. 


A shopping mall and a small shop both serve the purpose to fulfill the requirements of the people ranging from the basic requirements to leisure requirements. A small shop doesn’t offer leisure to the people.  

Shopping malls and small shops employ people.  Shopping malls have a large number of employment opportunities compared to small shops.  

Both have their benefits. People visit a shopping mall or a small shop based on their needs and convenience. Shopping malls have been considered a boon to many people because of the benefit of having maximum things under one roof but small shops are essence for the low- and medium-income group level people. 


  1. https://search.proquest.com/openview/0cd9aa6de8954097811227b6b6a8f838/1?pq-origsite=gscholar&cbl=46967
  2. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0263276012205198