Shopping centres range from major enclosed super-regional malls that draw customers from across the region, to small-scale shopping plazas serving local markets. The International Council for Shopping Centers (ICSC) defines a shopping centre as a retail property planned, built, owned, and managed as a single entity, comprising commercial rental units and common areas, with a minimum size of 10,000 square feet (see www.icsc.org). Within this definition, several sub-types exist. Traditional centres range from small-scale convenience, through to neighbourhood, community, regional, and super-regional centres. This traditional hierarchy is embedded within the planning system, albeit with variations across planning jurisdictions.
The ICSC also identifies speciality centres, including power centres (see below), factory outlets, and lifestyle centres. In this study, power centres are defined as a separate location type -- within Canada they are often not managed as a single entity.