Retail in Asia

Best of Retail in Asia

Best of Retail in Asia 2024: The Best Shopping Malls in Asia

In the bustling metropolises of Asia, shopping malls have become more than mere retail spaces. These architectural marvels serve as vibrant hubs of entertainment, fashion, and gastronomy, captivating visitors with immersive experiences. Beyond a varied selection of stores, the best malls possess distinct attributes that transform them into all-encompassing destinations, catering to the desires and aspirations of shoppers in their respective markets.

Featuring innovative design and architectural grandeur, curated experiences and cultural immersion, Asia undoubtedly offers some of the world’s best mall experiences. Here are Retail in Asia’s top picks of retail meccas across the region for 2024.

Chadstone Melbourne

Melbourne, Australia

Source: Shutterstock

Chadstone Melbourne boasts the distinction of offering the largest selection of luxury and premium brands within its 2.3 million square feet of space in Australia. Built in 1960, it remains the country’s biggest shopping mall, offering more than 500 retailers across price points, from affordable to high-end. The mall designed by Australian firm Buchan Group is also a premier entertainment hub, with its own Legoland, indoor mini-golf club, cinema and arcade. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the mall remained the top-performing retail destination in Australia in 2023 in terms of moving annual turnover (MAT), achieving AUD2.7 billion in retail sales.

The tenant mix: Premium to high-luxury. From Australian labels such as Sass & Bide, Bec & Bridge, Sarah & Sebastian and Zimmermann to contemporary and luxury brands, Chadstone Melbourne has curated brands across apparel accessories, fine jewelry, beauty, childrenswear, and entertainment, in addition to fast food and casual dining concepts. The development goes beyond retail by featuring a hospitality component, with further plans for expansion in 2024 through 2025. 

What’s on: Coming up for Chadstone Melbourne are additions of another hotel, further development of its luxury precinct, and the introduction of a new business centre. Notably, the mall currently collaborates with the esteemed National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), solidifying its status in Melbourne as a hub for art and culture.

Perks and rewards: Chadstone First Members gain privileged access to the latest in fashion, events, and entertainment, including VIP events, new season fashion launches, family and school holiday entertainment, competitions, giveaways, and new store openings.


Bangkok, Thailand

Source: Shutterstock

Opened in December 2023 by Thai retail magnate, The Mall Group, 200,000-square-metre Emsphere designed by Bangkok firm Design 103 is a vibrant, six-storey shopping destination that offers a blend of retail, entertainment, and lifestyle experiences along Sukhumvit Road. Alongside the Emporium and EmQuartier malls, EmSphere – a USD403 million-project – is the latest addition to the Mall Group’s expansive retail and lifestyle district master planned by New York’s Leeser Architects.

The tenant mix: Mid-range to premium. With its modern architecture and greenery-infused interiors, the mega-mall creates an inviting atmosphere in bustling Bangkok. Over 300 tenants span casual and premium fashion, lifestyle, beauty and wellness, majority of which are mid-range brands, with Ikea as its anchor tenant. The EmMarket food hall features Thai, Asian and Western cuisines as well as cafes.

What’s on: Emsphere goes beyond traditional retail by incorporating unique experiences, such as an entertainment zone with interactive games, and regular events including fashion shows, live performances, and art exhibitions for a dynamic environment. The top two floors are dedicated to entertainment and house 25 bars, plus UOB Live, a 12,000-square-metre arena designed for events and conferences

Perks and rewards: M Card, The Mall Group’s loyalty programme, offers privileges both in-store and online, covering shopping, dining, beauty, entertainment, hotel, and travel, across The Mall Group developments including Emporium, EmQuartier, and Paragon.

The Exchange TRX

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Source: The Exchange TRX

Located within Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), The Exchange TRX opened in late 2023 as a vibrant new lifestyle hub in the Malaysian capital. The property, master planned by London-based Grimshaw Architects, covers 1.3 million square feet, with over 400 tenants as of opening.

The tenant mix: Premium to high-luxury. The Exchange TRX introduced multiple international and new-to-market brands from premium to luxury price points, spanning fashion, lifestyle, athleisure, beauty and accessories. These include Hoka, Shake Shack, Bacha Coffee, Venchi, and Escentials, a niche luxury fragrance concept store. Debuting in Malaysia through The Exchange TRX are Gentle Monster, Alo, and Molton Brown, alongside flagship stores by luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. The development also features five dining precincts offering Malaysian concepts, casual as well as high-end restaurants.

What’s on: The property is seamlessly integrated with a sprawling 10-acre park adorned with lush greenery and water zones, interactive play areas, and al fresco spaces, offering Kuala Lumpur’s shoppers a new destination for leisure. 

Perks and rewards: Mallgoers can join the Lendlease Plus Malaysia loyalty programme member on The Exchange TRX app to access exclusive benefits and earn points through purchases, with three tiers – Enthusiast, Insider, Inspirer.


Tokyo, Japan

Source: Shutterstock

Situated in Tokyo’s upscale Ginza district, GinzaSix, built in 2017, is a luxury shopping complex renowned for its highly curated selection of high-end brands, from Fendi and Celine to Japanese brands Comme des Garcons and Sacai. Designed by Japanese architect Yoshio Taniguchi, GinzaSix occupies 148,700 square metres on 18 floors and features the largest retail space of 47,000 square metres available in Ginza.

The tenant mix: Predominantly high-end. The mall recently took on an extensive brand refresh unveiled from the beginning of 2024 and introduced multiple new brands, including Ginori 1735, Manolo Blahnik, MM6 Maison Margiela, Acne Studios, and And Wander. On the ground floor of the mall, six luxury brands – Dior, Celine, Saint Laurent, Van Cleef & Arpels, Valentino, and Fendi – each feature uniquely designed facades. Its F&B offering is dominated by polished Japanese concepts, with the exception of Eataly, Cafe Dior by Laduree, Starbucks and Blue Bottle Coffee.

What’s on: GinzaSix puts on display rotating art exhibitions at the heart of the mall, with previous installations by the likes of Yayoi Kusama, Daniel Buren, and Chiharu Shiota. Its Ginza outpost of Japanese bookstore and lifestyle concept Tsutaya Books, also features different exhibitions in its gallery alongside its extensive selections of art books as well as local craft, fragrance and fashion brands.

Perks and rewards: GinzaSix membership offers bronze, platinum and diamond tiers, with special benefits such as one-time or all-time access to Lounge Six, the mall’s VIP club; and complimentary parking, valet and porter services.

The Hyundai Seoul

Seoul, South Korea

Source: Shutterstock

Opened by the Hyundai Group in 2021, Hyundai Seoul is the largest shopping centre in the South Korean capital, spanning 89,100 square metres across 15 floors. Visitors are greeted with serene interiors by the Canadian studio Burdifilek, featuring indoor trees, abundant natural light, and a 12-metre-high waterfall sculpture. The mall offers international brands but emphasises Korea’s cultural powerhouse: K-pop. In 2023, Hyundai Group reported that the mall’s cumulative sales from January 1 to December 2, 2023, exceeded KRW 1 trillion, becoming the fastest mall in Seoul to achieve KRW 1 trillion within that timeframe.

The tenant mix: Premium to high-luxury. Luxury boutiques including Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Saint Laurent and Thom Browne occupy the first floor together with prestige beauty and fragrance brands. Hyundai Seoul also offers contemporary luxury brands such as Isabel Marant, Jil Sander, and Lemaire, to casual brands Lacoste and Tommy Hilfiger. Lifestyle and furniture stores such as Ligne Roset and Carl Hansen & Son, as well as an extensive golf offering, are also available. Eataly, Ristorante EO, and SMT Lounge offer dining options alongside cafes from Godiva and Baekmidang.

What’s on: Throughout the year, pop-ups and activations showcasing K-pop stars as well as periodic collaborations to attract K-pop enthusiasts from around the world. Local media reported that these pop-ups managed to attract over 100,000 visitors in just one month in 2024.

Perks and rewards: Under the H Point app, an integrated programme for Hyundai Group department stores, members can earn points, convertible to cash or discounts, and vouchers; and access concierge services such as translation, restaurant reservations, and mobile tax refunds.


Bangkok, Thailand

Source: Iconsiam

Overlooking the Chao Phraya River, Iconsiam has been the crown jewel in the portfolio of Siam Piwat since its opening in 2018. The mall collaboratively designed by Benoy, Arup, and local architecture studio Urban Architects occupies 500,000 square metres dedicated to mainstream retail and entertainment establishments, in addition to a 25,000-square-metre luxury wing, IconLuxe, which houses renowned luxury stores.

The tenant mix: Premium to high luxury. It boasts a vast selection of luxury brands, lifestyle boutiques, and a range of international brands, such as Byredo’s first full-scale flagship store in Southeast Asia and Siam Takashimaya department store. Speciality zones such as IconLuxe favour high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Rolex, Hermes, and Bottega Veneta, while Sook Siam features over 300 local Thai businesses. Iconsiam’s F&B offering spans seven different zones, with casual and fine dining options from traditional Thai cuisine to international offerings.

What’s on: Hosting Thailand’s annual New Year’s Eve countdown, as well as a variety of festivals and fairs from coffee events to local trade, and immersive arts experiences from Monet to Leonardo da Vinci, Iconsiam has embedded itself into Bangkok’s leisure landscape. Iconsiam’s park also features artistic pieces curated by the Bangkok Sculpture Centre.

Perks and rewards: The One Siam superapp extends special privileges to members across Siam Piwat destinations including Iconsiam, Siam Paragon, Siam Discovery, and Siam Premium Outlets, such as cash vouchers and exclusive partner discounts. 

Ion Orchard


Source: Ion Orchard

First opened in 2009, the mall occupies a prime location in one of Singapore’s most popular shopping districts, and spans 942,000 square feet across eight floors. Designed by Benoy, the mall also contains Ion Sky, a two-level attraction where visitors can enjoy panoramic 360-degree views of the city skyline from the highest point on Orchard Road. In 2023 the mall welcomed a number of new and revamped retail and F&B tenants.

The tenant mix: Premium to high luxury. Ion Orchard houses an extensive directory of over 200 mainstream fashion and lifestyle brands, in addition to luxury fashion and jewellery houses such as Loro Piana, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari and Tiffany & Co. Newly introduced to the mall are The Onitsuka’s first Southeast Asian flagship boutique in Singapore, Christian Louboutin, Gentle Monster, and Massimo Dutti. Recent culinary additions include Surrey Hills Grocer, Puzzle Coffee, and Le Matin Patisserie, complementing more than 60 other F&B tenants that span Singaporean, Asian and international brands.

What’s on: Ion Art is a distinctive feature of the mall, providing visitors an innovative cultural programme showcasing modern and contemporary art and design, and permanent media installations. Art-focused events and exhibitions take place throughout the year at the gallery. 

Perks and rewards: The Ion+ programme grants complimentary lifetime membership as well as benefits such as convertible points, parking rebates, and shopping vouchers.

K11 Musea

Hong Kong SAR, China

Source: K11 Musea

Unveiled in 2019, the most ambitious undertaking by the K11 Group thus far stands as Hong Kong’s groundbreaking cultural-retail destination, combining art, culture and commerce across 10 storeys totalling 1.2 million square feet. World-leading architects including OMA, LAAB, and Kohn Pedersen Fox were tapped to bring New World Development chief Adrian Cheng’s vision of ‘museum retail’ to life. 

The tenant mix: Premium to high luxury. A mix of lifestyle, mid-range to luxury fashion brands across 250 retailers, from Casetify, Kapok and Cos, American Vintage, to Chanel, Gucci, Loewe, Balenciaga and Delvaux. K11 Musea also houses the first MoMA Design Store in Hong Kong, a BMW Experience Centre, and an extensive zone devoted to niche beauty and fragrance brands. F&B offerings span casual outlets such as Five Guys and Gontran Cherrier, to upscale restaurants including Niras, Tuber by Umberto Bombana and Sushi Wadatsumi, and specialty outlets such as Fortnum & Mason.

What’s on: The mall hosts a series of art exhibitions year-round, along with pop-ups that coincide with Hong Kong-wide events like Arts Month, in keeping with its cultural commerce proposition. 

Perks and rewards: The mall’s KLUB 11 loyalty programme grants access to special events and promotions, parking privileges, and year-round offers across K11 locations in Hong Kong and mainland China.

SKP Beijing

Beijing, China

Source: SKP/Sybarite

The six-storey, 140,000-square-metre property first opened in 2007 and in 2020 launched a new, futuristic wing, SKP-S, designed by architects at Sybarite together with Korean eyewear maker Gentle Monster to offer a fusion of avant-garde design and experiential retail. A report released in 2021 recognised SKP Beijing as the most productive shopping centre in China, with sales reaching 24.7 billion yuan, while in 2019, a report by GlobalData and Sybarite identified SKP Beijing as the second-most productive store globally in 2019, second only to Harrods.

The tenant mix: Premium to high luxury, although Beijing SKP has established itself as a premier destination for high-end shopping, carrying the likes of Hermes, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Gucci, in addition to local and emerging designers. 

Perks and rewards: SKP benefits are earned across SKP’s Beijing, Xi’an, and Chengdu locations and are managed on WeChat, granting members the convenience of managing their various benefits on one platform.

Starfield Coex

Seoul, South Korea

Source: Shutterstock

Situated in Seoul’s Gangnam district, Starfield Coex is billed as the largest underground shopping centre in Asia, featuring a 1.6 million-square-feet shopping complex that offers a comprehensive retail experience operated by Korean retail giant Shinsegae Group, and the Starfield Library, an architectural focal point designed by Gensler. According to Coex, the mall, which first opened in 2014, attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors every weekend.

The tenant mix: Mid-range to premium. Starfield Coex houses a wide array of stores and facilities, from international and domestic fashion to cosmetics retailers and electronics – H&M, Nike, Adidas, and Massimo Dutti are among the mall’s tenants. Starfield Coex has also established itself as a leisure hub, with entertainment destinations such as a multiplex cinema and the Coex Aquarium, a well-loved attraction for families. F&B offerings span casual cafes and food trucks to upscale restaurants.

What’s on: A key feature of the mall is the now-iconic and heavily photographed Starfield Library, a must-visit public attraction that has drawn in tourists and local residents alike since its inception in 2017.

Perks and rewards: Shinsegae Universe Club, a paid membership programme by Shinsegae Group, spans Shinsegae Department Store, Shinsegae Duty Free, Emart, and Starbucks, with plans to enhance benefits through partnerships in various sectors like Korean Air.

This list is part of “Best of Retail in Asia,” compiled by this publication’s editorial team together with retail experts across the region. In this series, Retail in Asia celebrates the best of retail in the region, recognising the brands, businesses and concepts putting forward some of the finest, most creative and innovative consumer experiences across markets and sectors. The above are listed in alphabetical order; it is not a ranked list. 

Do send us your picks for Asia’s best of retail for the upcoming categories, Best Monobrand Stores and Best Multi-Brand Concept Stores, by 19 April at