Shopping centers in the Silesian Voivodeship have a significant impact on smaller settlement units located in outer areas of agglomerations. It consists mainly in changes related to social, economic, as well as functional and spatial spheres. Studies shows that shopping centers take over more and more functions of higher order (services, public culture, administration) and restrict the economic activity in rural areas outer areas of agglomerations. At the stage of the irrepressible process of suburbanisation of rural areas surrounding large urban agglomerations and structural changes in towns, it is difficult to conclusively assess the consequences of the operation of shopping centers in outer metropolitan areas. The impact of shopping centers on small towns and rural areas is a very dynamic process and requires systematic research.