The malls evolved in stages. In Mesopotamia city of Ur, by 1600 B.C someone decided to separate a street of shops from the town with doors which were closed at night. That is the first trace of the ‘enclosed shopping promenade" evolved in more than a millennium. Then the ancient Greeks had their liking for the market and the market place was the center of debate and discussion. As the stoicism was named for the stop, it was a large roof structure. walled on three sides. Stoa, along with other purposes, was used for the marketplace. In the Roman Empire, Trajan decided to replace the crowded jumble of streets and small buildings with grand buildings with a formal plan. Aula Traiana was the two-story market with a vaulted roof. (Paquet, 2003 pp, 87) The early history of shopping mall dates back to 10th century A.D of Isfahan’s Grand Bazar, largely covered and 10 kilometers covered Tehran’s Grand Bazar has also a long history. Grand Bazaar of Istanbul which is still one of the largest covered markets in the world with about 58 streets and almost 4000 shops were built in the 15th century. Saint Petersburg’s Gostiny Dvor, the first purposely- built shopping mall was constructed in 1778, consisting of 100 shops with an area of 53,000 m. (New York Times. November 15, 1957). In 1774 the Oxford Covered Market was established in England and is still running. The Burlington Arcade was opened in 1819 in London. The United States owed the concept of shopping malls to The Arcade built in Rhode Islands in 1828.
Shopping Malls in Britain:
For the modern shopper, the shopping under one roof seems natural but for the medieval shopper, it was all strange. In medieval days many European countries were controlled by guilds that took care to see what was sold and made. It kept stores small and specialized. Mercers were the stores which sold grocery and fabric both and were the medieval shopping malls. Actually, until 1700 there were a few wealthy people in Britain who could afford to buy many goods. Even the rich paid ‘cash on the barrel’ because credit was the order of the day. Quakers leader George Fox complained about the absence of fixed prices in English stores.