What is a strip mall called in British English?

Kathi_1 at Austria

In our last English lesson we learned about supermarkets. Our teacher told us that big shopping centres in America are called malls and in GB they are called shopping centres. Is there a name in British English for what Americans call strip malls. (in German we call it "Gewerbepark".) Can somebody tell me?

January 2010
  • [nz_nathan] aw Aruba

    Heh, I actually had to look up on Wikipedia what a strip mall was... I don't think I'm allowed to say what I really thought you were talking about!

    In New Zealand you could call them malls or shopping centres but usually they have names and we just call them by that. For example, here in Hamilton there's one called "The Base", the big one in Auckland is "Sylvia Park" etc.

    January 2010
  • [skyblueteapot] aw Aruba

    WE don't know what the word mall means, or even how to pronounce it, over here in the UK! We say shopping centres for any big collection of shops, whether enclosed or not. Unless they are just on either side of the High Street in town, in which case we call them "the shops on the High Street". We aren't very sophisticated about shopping ;-)

    January 2010
  • blindside70 us United States

    I'm American and I've never used the phrase 'strip mall' however we do call buildings with a bunch of shops in them malls and like nathan in NZ we also just call them by their names most of the time: In Vegas it's Meadows, Fashion Show, Galleria ect....

    January 2010
  • junair de Germany

    Kathi, recently I saw here, nearby Stuttgart a "Gewerbepark" which is international active and all signs and labels are written in two languages: it's called "industrial park" in English.

    January 2010
  • [skyblueteapot] aw Aruba

    I would assume that an industrial park contained warehouses not shops.

    January 2010
  • [skyblueteapot] aw Aruba

    Retail park maybe?

    January 2010
  • alleray at Austria

    Thank you Helen, the retail park at Bedford seems to be what we are looking for. "Gewerbepark" often includes rows of shops, but also warehouses or depots, large DIY markets or superstores, garden centres etc.

    Industrial park could be more like "business park", which is probably more business oriented than consumer oriented. This is what I found in Wikipedia:

    "In the United Kingdom, a retail park is a grouping of many retail warehouses and superstores with associated car parking. Its North American equivalent is a power centre."

    As for "strip mall", I got the expression from an Amercian teaching assistant from Pennsylvania; its description seemed closest to our "Gewerbepark"/retail park.

    Again I'm quoting from Wikipedia:

    "A strip mall (also called a shopping plaza or mini-mall) is an open area shopping center where the stores are arranged in a row, with a sidewalk in front."

    Maybe it's a regional issue or a technical term nobody actually uses if all Americans are not familiar with the term.

    January 2010
  • JimW us United States

    As an American from Pennsylvania, I use the term "strip mall" fairly often to describe a row of shops strung out along a highway, and not under a common roof. It's common in Pennsylvania and in many parts of the Midwest, where I now live, but I suspect it's not that common in all parts of the US. On the other hand, I've never heard the term "power center".

    Also - in general US usage, one wouldn't go to an industrial park to shop - it's an area dedicated to business headquarters, plants, factories, warehouses, etc.

    January 2010