In 2005, Chinese billionaire Alex Hu Guirong began building the world’s largest shopping mall in Dongguan, China. At seven million square feet, the New South China Mall had room for up to 2,350 shops—not to mention the full-size indoor roller coaster, the 1.3 mile long canal (complete with gondolas), and the 82 foot replica of the Arc de Triomphe.
There was only one problem—nobody wanted to put a store in it. From 2005 until the present, only about one percent of the mall has ever been used—ever. The other 6,930,300 square feet just is gathering dust under cloth covers, and the only people who really work there are the security guards who keep squatters away.
There are a few reasons why the mall flopped so hard, and one of them is the location—Dongguan only has a population of 10 million, most of them poor-ish factory workers, and it can take a few hours to even get there.