Even in the world of online shopping, malls are still a fun place to shop, eat, and spend time with friends and family. New Jersey has plenty of great malls to enjoy. However, what are the best malls in New Jersey?
According to TripAdvisor’s 2023 rankings, the best mall in New Jersey is The Mills at Jersey Gardens. Shoppers love the variety of stores as well as the deals offered here.
Other popular New Jersey malls include:
- The Quarter at Tropicana
- Tanger Outlets Atlantic City
- Washington Street Mall
Learn more about The Mills at Jersey Gardens and other malls in New Jersey by continuing below.
- Best Malls in New Jersey
- How Many Malls Are In New Jersey?
- What is The Biggest Mall in New Jersey?
- What Is the Oldest Mall in New Jersey?
- What City in New Jersey Has The Most Malls?
- What Mall in New Jersey Took 15 Years to Build?
- What Makes a Mall the Best?
- What Is the Definition of a Mall?
- What Was The First Mall in the US?
- When Were Shopping Malls the Most Popular in the US?
- What Is The Most Famous Mall?
Best Malls in New Jersey
The best mall in New Jersey according to the NJ Voice survey, is The Mills at Jersey Gardens. The reviews are mostly excellent or very good. It has an overall 4.5-star rating.
Shoppers love the deals and affordable pricing the stores offer here at The Mills Mall. There are discounts of up to 70% off retail. Purchases are tax-free as well.
The Mills at Jersey Gardens is the largest outlet mall in New Jersey with 200 stores and dining locations. It is 30 minutes away from New York City.
This mall is owned by Simon Property Group and has both indoor and outdoor portions. The building is 1.304,000 square feet of shops, restaurants, and entertainment
Some of the most well-known shopping locations inside include:
- Bloomingdale’s Outlet Store
- Pottery Barn Outlet
- Kate Spade New York
- A/X Armani Exchange Outlet
- Banana Republic Factory Store
- Calvin Klein
- Saks OFF 5th
- Ralph Polo Lauren Factory Store
- Victoria’s Secret
- The Puma Store
- Nike Factory Store
The Mills at Jersey Gardens is home to the only Disney Outlet Store in New Jersey, making it a must-visit for discounted Disney merchandise. There is also an AMC Theater with IMAX.
History of The Mills at Jersey Gardens
The Mills at Jersey Gardens opened to the public on October 21, 1999.
It was developed by Glimcher Realty Trust and owned by them until it was sold to the Simon Property Group in January 2015.
Since the acquisition, it has remained a shopping mainstay for locals and tourists. New retailers are added regularly to reflect consumer trends.
Other Popular New Jersey Malls
Here are some other malls that are popular in New Jersey according to TripAdvisor.
The Quarter at Tropicana is part of the Tropicana Resort in Atlantic City. Visitors love the selection of stores and the high-end atmosphere it brings.
It has an overall 4.5-star rating from visitors. There are over 30 stores and restaurants to enjoy and explore.
Tanger Outlets is a large outlet mall in Atlantic City. Visitors love the number of retailers and the deals available here.
However, they share the concern that the stores are too spread out from each other, making browsing and enjoying the space difficult.
Popular retailers at Tanger Outlets include:
- Old Navy
- J. Crew
- Michael Kors
- Forever 21
- Tommy Hilfiger
- Polo Ralph Lauren
The convenience of an outlet mall allows visitors to get high-end brands at less than retail prices. If you love a bargain, Tanger Outlets is for you.
Washington Street Mall
Washington Street Mall is located in Cape May. Visitors love that it is a pedestrian-only area, so they can take time exploring without worrying about street traffic.
There are 75 stores and restaurants to browse here. The variety means there is something for everyone. It has an overall 4.5 rating from visitors.
How Many Malls Are In New Jersey?
There are 28 malls in New Jersey, all geared toward those looking for a bargain. There are more malls per square mile in New Jersey than in any other state.
What is The Biggest Mall in New Jersey?
The biggest mall in New Jersey is the American Dream Meadowlands. The mall is 3,000,000 square feet in total. It boasts an indoor theme park, water park, and wave pool, along with other attractions, shopping, and dining.
What Is the Oldest Mall in New Jersey?
Garden State Plaza or Westfield Garden State Plaza is the oldest mall in New Jersey. The final stage of opening was completed in 1960 and it has remained open since.
What City in New Jersey Has The Most Malls?
The city of Paramus has the most malls. There are 4 of them, as well as several shopping centers, within a 10.5-mile radius. This is also the most malls in one town in the entire United States.
There are more retail sales made in Paramus than in any other area in the United States. The city is continuing to uproot other buildings to create shopping locations.
Thousands of tourists flock to the city each year to experience the retail offerings for themselves. The stores there are still profiting despite the continuous increase in online shopping.
What Mall in New Jersey Took 15 Years to Build?
Meadowland Mills, as it was originally called, or the American Dream mall took 15 years to build. Construction began in 1990 and the first major phase of construction was completed in 2019.
It has been open to the public since construction was completed and continues to expand to provide greater offerings
What Makes a Mall the Best?
Now that you know which mall in New Jersey is considered the best, what factors make a mall the best?
In 2015, a researcher named Paul Debek conducted a study to see what makes a mall attractive to the public. The results of his research found the following factors to be the main drivers:
- Commercial capability
- Leisure potential
- Perceived safety
- Social positioning
Aside from these factors, people will choose a mall based on their traits, needs, and demographics.
Thus, they consciously and unconsciously use these points to decide which mall is best. Ultimately, rankings are subjective based on the opinions of the ranker.
Let’s explore each of these factors in detail.
When describing malls, the aesthetic concerns the overall style that the mall fits into. Some common aesthetics used to describe lifestyles today include cottage-core and dark academia.
Structures like malls can be classified into aesthetics like this based on the overall impression they give off. Based on its perceived aesthetic, a mall can either be defined as beautiful or ugly.
A beautiful mall will attract more people, whereas an ugly mall can either have a hard time staying afloat or attract people to visit just because they want to witness the ugliness.
The atmosphere is the entire sensory experience a mall provides. This includes elements such as:
- Materials used in construction
- Proportions of the exterior and interior
- Rhythm and flow of the space
- Presence of others
All of these parts come together to produce a certain mood within the space. The atmosphere of a public or private space directly influences enjoyment or discomfort in it.’
If an atmosphere is too loud or bright, some people will become overstimulated, limiting the time spent in that location.
The ideal atmosphere is lively and inviting without being chaotic.
The convenience of a mall or other business is directly related to the customer’s enjoyment. It encompasses these points:
- Distance to and from the customer’s home
- Business hours
- Parking availability
- Bathroom availability
- Ease of finding locations, products, and services
Greater convenience of an environment means less stress experienced. Consumers frequent places like the mall to have fun, not to have negative emotions.
If there is not enough parking or the bathroom is frequently out of order, customers will feel frustrated. To provide the best experience, mall management should address these issues as they arise
Commercial capability is defined as the potential of a space to have commercial success and remain in business. It encompasses the following:
- quality of service
- number and types of amenities,
- quality of merchandise offered.
One should also consider the value-for-price ratio of other products when discussing commercial capability.
When customers get more value for their money, they are more likely to frequent a space.
The more a mall or other business succeeds in these areas, the longer it will profit and meet consumer needs to stay in business.
The layout of a space is how it is used and organized. It includes the following points:
- Clarity and legibility of the space in terms of navigation
- Quality of design
- Order in the space (where stores are placed)
The layout should minimize crowding and allow traffic to flow naturally. A crowded space is uncomfortable and prevents people from quickly accessing retailers they love.
The stores and spaces that customers will enjoy most should have high priority in the layout.
If a layout is confusing to people, they will get frustrated and feel discouraged to spend time in a space.
Leisure potential is a measure of how the amenities at a mall meet the needs of consumers. These include:
- Eating and drinking
- Sitting down and taking breaks
The more leisure amenities and the higher the entertainment value, the more attractive the mall will be.
In recent years, malls have tried to cater to the desire for diverse entertainment and socialization by hosting events for the public like easter egg hunts and trick-or-treating.
As in-person shopping continues to decline, malls are becoming more like community centers where people can spend meaningful time with each other, not just shop.
People need to feel safe in a place to visit regularly. The safer a mall is for visitors, the more they will come.
Social positioning is the social standing a mall has based on the visitor’s opinions of the type of people that visit it, Individuals will come to a place more often if they can interact with like-minded people.
Other points to consider for social positioning include:
- The demographics and background of people that could visit ‘
- Individual and group impressions of the mall experience
If a mall has an overall positive impression from visitors, it will have a higher social position.
These factors and more are used as a general guide to inform people’s opinions about what makes a mall the best compared to its competitors.
What Is the Definition of a Mall?
A mall is defined as an enclosed area with stores, dining, and entertainment, where visitors can browse without leaving the building. Malls can either have one floor or multiple.
There are also open-air or outdoor malls, but those are called shopping centers by people in the industry because they stray from the traditional concept of a mall.
What Was The First Mall in the US?
The first shopping mall to open in the United States was the South Dale Center in Minnesota. At its opening, it was 800,000 square feet in total with 72 retailers and two department stores.
When Were Shopping Malls the Most Popular in the US?
Shopping malls reached peak popularity in the 1980s. During this time, more than half of retail sales in the country were made at malls.
To accommodate demand, more than 16,000 malls were built in the decade from 1980-1990, and huge malls that totaled 800,000 square feet or more were spread across the country.
The popularity of malls continued into the 1990s, and they were a cultural phenomenon by this time. Since online shopping did not exist, malls were the place to get the latest clothing, accessories, footwear, technology, and more
Malls were a popular hangout spot for teens and families. They would often spend entire days there. Many people visited just to be around others. Although they are still used as a social gathering space, malls do not have the pull they once did.
Why Were Malls So Popular at This Time?
Malls were popular in the 1980s because there was a store for everyone. Bookstores, music stores, and toy stores were mixed in with clothing stores and the variety of stores was much greater.
Malls of that era were known for using extravagant decor and design ideas, as opposed to the simple styles of modern malls. The grand displays in the mall attracted visitors in the same way the stores did.
Popular music artists would also use malls as spaces to host signings and other events, which brought even more people to the mall.
Although this practice continued into the early 2000s and 2010s, it has faded out.
What Is The Most Famous Mall?
The most famous or well-known mall in the United States is the Mall of America. It is located in Minnesota.
Construction on the Mall of America finished in 1992 and has had thousands of visitors since. It is the leader in entertainment experiences and shopping in the country.
The Mall of America is the only mall that has remained a constant source of foot traffic and revenue in the decline of retail. Just as many people visit today as they did in the 1990s.
The best malls in New Jersey are The Mills at Jersey Gardens, The Quarter at Tropicana, Tanger Outlets Atlantic City, and Washington Street Mall. Even though they are all malls, each one offers a different experience to entice visitors. Several factors are used to classify a mall as the best.