Indian malls on an experimental mode

Heavily laden by the infrastructure and rental cost, Indian malls are experimenting with newer ideas to draw greater footfalls in their malls, even as few developers have already shifted focus to Tier II and III cities. A closer look!
Indian malls on an experimental mode
Heavily laden by the infrastructure and rental cost, Indian malls are experimenting with newer ideas to draw greater footfalls in their malls, even as few developers have already shifted focus to Tier II and III cities. A closer look!
 
Mall retailing in India has gone through several changes over the years. Scarcity of land and high operational and infrastructure costs, have made the developers to think of cities like Jaipur, Raipur, Nasik, Ludhiana etc. The recent survey published by the property advisory firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) says, there is only 40 per cent malls performing well in India. As per the data from Cushman & Wakefield, mall penetration in India is: North (NCR) -88, East (Kolkata) -12, West (Mumbai, Pune, Ahmedabad) -67, South (Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Chennai) -44.
 
As per the given table, mall rentals in Mumbai, Kolkata and NCR are the highest, with both Mumbai and Kolkata sharing the same rental charge of Rs 600 per sq ft, whereas for NCR, it is Rs 500 per sq ft.
 
Small versus big
 
Malls in metros tend to be bigger sized than the malls in Tier II and III cities. As per Shibu Philips, Business Head of Lulu Mall, “Large sized shopping malls help in becoming a destination as it can offer customers multiple choices under one roof. Secondly, large malls 
 
ensure that customers don’t feel pushed around as the mall can accommodate large footfalls at any time. Besides, to accommodate strong category killers and anchor stores, size is extremely important. Brands like Ikea, Decathlon, Kidzania require large spaces for their operations.” 
 
 
As per Priyank Singhania, Director- Operations & HR, Avinash Developers Pvt Ltd, “Average size of a mall in metros and in Tier II, III cities are like: Metros: 4.5 lakh sq ft and above, Tier II: Between 2 to 5 lakh sq ft and Tier III: Between 75k to 3 lakh sq ft.”
 
Preferred retail mix 
The importance of formulating an optimal tenant mix to ensure the maximum utilisation of retail space is now recognised and accepted by almost all major mall developers. Retailers are showing good interest in upcoming retail projects that offer not only a good location, but have been optimised in terms of design, trade and tenant mix. Rajiv Malla, Centre Director Phoenix Marketcity Pune said, “The preferred retail mix is hypermarket, departmental stores, anchor brands, vanilla brands, multinational, national & local brands.” Philips said, “For a mall to be successful, whether in a metro or a Tier II city, it needs to have the right mix of brands in fun, food, fashion and films.” 
 
Inviting freshness and innovation 
 
To invite freshness and newness in the mall, mall developers carry out several operational strategies including decorating the mall interiors as per different festival themes. For example, Valentine’s Day, Republic Day, Christmas and New Year celebration picks good footfalls in malls. Likewise, malls also organise several cultural programmes and competitions- musical nights and DJ nights etc to grab attention and bring newness in the malls.
 
Addressing the same, Rajendra Kalkar, Senior Centre Director, The Phoenix Mills Limited said, “We provide a retail experience including high-street fashion, international food experience, entertainment facilities, world-class events and basic to luxury value added services. The results of such a strategy have been tremendously successful and have helped us reach out to a very large audience in the country.” 
 
It is true that malls have transformed shopping from a need driven activity to a leisure time entertainment. And with many national and international brands, mall retailing is surging ahead in non-metros. 
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