There are have been a number of stories about the decline in US shopping malls, but Asian malls seem to be defying that trend. After reading that story and thinking about the malls and shopping areas here in Silicon Valley where I live, the malls here seem to match that theme. Even giant malls like Westfield Valley Fair Mall, the most profitable mall in California, which on the face of it isn’t an Asian mall, fits into that pattern.
So it Valley Fair an Asian mall? It’s not like it has a Ranch 99 there. Not all of the stores and restaurants are Asian-oriented, but there are many Asian restaurants packed together in the mall, with long lines for ramen and udon joints. Some restaurants, like Gold Hill Bistro and Shihlin Taiwanese Street Snacks, catering almost exclusively to Asians and Asian Americans. There are seven places to get Boba in Valley Fair the last time I counted. On the second floor near the movie theater where many of these restaurants are located, Valley Fair does feel like an Asian Mall! Baekyoung Korean BBQ just opened up at Valley Fair, and may family and I are eager to check it out.
Catering to Asian Americans seems to be good business here in Silicon Valley. Main Street in Cupertino has many Asian oriented restaurants and businesses. My family usually gets ramen there and then a dessert at Meet Fresh. The Asian mall story mentions how malls can build community and attract business in that way. Lower end malls like the Great Mall of the Bay Area in Milpitas not only have restaurants like Jollibee, but holds events like the 626 Night Market. I joked about Valley Fair mall not having a Ranch 99, but Westfield Oakridge mall actually has one!
Will Asian malls stay viable? I think they will for some time. One reason for my opinion is that I see many younger people frequenting these areas. Number One Son and Number Two Son have been to more of those Asian shops and restaurants than I have.