Retail centers can be considered as places for interactional and recreational activities and such social roles of retail centers contribute to the popularity of the retail centers. Therefore, the main objective of this study was to identify effective factors encouraging customers to engage with interactional activities and measure how these factors affect customer behavior. Accordingly, two hypotheses were raised illustrating that the travel time (i.e., the time it takes for a customer to reach the retail center) and the variety of shops (in a retail center) increase the percentage of people who spend their leisure time and recreational activities retail centers. Two case studies were conducted in two analogous retail centers, one in Tehran, Iran, and the other in Madrid, Spain. According to the results, there is an interaction between the travel time and the motivation for the presence of people in the retail center. Furthermore, the results revealed that half of both retail center goers who spend more than 10 minutes to reach the retail centers prefer to do leisure activities and browsing than shopping. In other words, the longer it takes a person to get to the center, the more likely he/she is to spend more time in the mall and do more leisure activities. It is also found that there is a significant relationship between the variety of shops in a retail center and the motivation of customers attending a retail center that encourages people to spend their leisure time in retail centers.