Oh I realize there are malls in Second Life, and I won't knock their owners/builders, but the possibilities available on the grid mean that more and more designers are taking advantage and changing the paradigm and we travelers benefit. I've spoken recently about locations such as Barbee and Risk City not because they were shopping destinations but because they are great builds which I think people should experience.
I went to three more fantastic places today and they highlight the incredible variety available for the shopper and the tourist. Even if I'm tearing my virtual hair out trying to survive a shopping expedition I tend to enjoy the experience if I have something wonderful to explore along the way.
It may take more time, energy, planning and design work to create something as special as these locations however, having a "destination" rather than just a "mall" would increase your traffic and sales. Obvious I know, but there are those entrepreneurs inworld who might want to consider the obvious :)
As a side note, I encountered an unusually high number of newcomers to Second Life today - in every location I visited. I have to assume this has something to do with the merging of the teen and adult grids but, whatever the reason, it was a very positive experience and I met some really interesting people. I hope they all feel welcomed and that they all stick around. :)