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Top 10 Retail Center Experiences: No. 9 West Edmonton Mall

Daybreaker continues its countdown of the Top 10 Retail Center Experiences named in the July-August edition of Chain Store Age.

It’s a 5.3 million-sq.-ft. realm of retail and entertainment that attracts 30 million visitors a year and calls itself “The Greatest Indoor Show on Earth.” With 25 rides and attractions, Guinness recognized it as the world’s largest indoor amusement park, as well as North America’s largest mall with 800 stores. It has a three-million-gallon wave pool and a lake with a replica of Christopher Columbus’s Santa Maria. It is zoned by the City of Edmonton, Alberta, as a shopping center and a zoo.

It is West Edmonton Mall, and it was the Ghermezian family’s first brash, bold, and industry-defining statement when it opened in 1981. Their Triple Five Worldwide followed with Minnesota’s Mall of America in 1992 and New Jersey’s American Dream, set to open this year.

“We make every effort to ensure our guest’s visit goes far beyond the traditional retail experience. We want them to have magical moments each time they visit,” said general manager Danielle Woo. “From the infinite shopping possibilities to the entertainment throughout the property, we have all aspects of a guest’s adventures covered.”

The original concept for the property was inspired by the urban bazaars of Persia, where shopping and entertainment were plentiful and operated in tandem. “We have been focusing on building up our luxury shopping experience, with Louis Vuitton recently joining the ranks of our high-end retailers,” said WEM’s marketing manager Mannat Kahlon. “Concepts like Canada Goose’s sub-zero cold room, where shoppers can test a jacket’s warmth, are a perfect example of retailers using their most creative concepts at WEM.”

Exit Antarctica and minutes later be careening down a water slide? Now that’s an experience.

Stay tuned for the profile of the final center. Until then, catch up on what you missed:

No. 1 Easton Town Center
No. 2 Northpark Center
No. 3 Avalon
No. 4 Westfield Garden State Plaza
No. 5 Mall of America
No. 6 Destiny USA
No. 7 Chestnut Hill Square
No. 8 Eton Chagrin Boulevard
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