How are malls changing the retail landscape of the East?
Malls, as we understand, are the culmination of food, nonfood and retail combined with entertainment. Kolkata being one of the oldest cities of the country saw the British make one of the iconic markets known as Sir Stuart Hogg Market – more popularly called New Market – which a mirror image of the Covent Garden Market in London with its cobblestone walkways. Malls are not new to India, especially in the East, as under one roof you are able to get food, non-food, retail and entertainment.
The growth of cities in the east into suburbs has increased the demand that retail needs to be available at the consumer’s doorstep.
Malls are a must for any developing city and have now become centers for leisure, entertainment and community building. The Eastern part of the country is showing confidence by building malls in Guwahati, Siliguri, Ranchi, Dhanbad, Patna and Kolkata. The dynamics of retail especially in the original market, the brands and the aspiration of the youth drive this generation to create these centers. This is showing very healthy consumption patterns and the retailers are driving the developers to make centers for them. I believe we are on a very healthy course for developing further retail malls in the coming future.
As we move into 2018, most Eastern cities of India display a glorious upward trend including Kolkata, Raipur, Ranchi, Asansol, Siliguri. Luxury buying has transmogrified from an occasional indulgence into a necessity and increasing consumer spending power is aiding this metamorphosis. The end result – the Great Indian Middle Class has been elevated to a higher level.
What was unthinkable in the Eastern region a few years ago is becoming a reality, and the credit goes to premium retail destinations malls, which have opened the luxury retail gateway in the region. It is because of these premium destinations that customers belonging to a diverse milieu are making a beeline for malls to look at, touch, feel, buy and then revel in the experience of possessing high-end international and national products. East is called the retail market of tomorrow with all its potential. The factors that make these malls changing the retail landscape are better and professional mall management, the presence of international brands, and balanced floor plans.
There is a wave of emerging aspirational brands in East India. The approach is more in the Tier
I & II cities because of the change in shopping trends. There are upcoming malls in cities like Bhubaneswar, Guwahati, Ranchi, Jamshedpur, Siliguri etc. The major finding to the trend is the middle class consumers who have been elevated to a higher level. There is a rapid transformation in eastern India market – from a traditional customer base into a fashion conscious, brand-savvy market. The young generation is shopping and demanding both fashion and quality along with value for money. To meet these expectation and demand of consumers – big and small, branded and unbranded,
regional, national and even international brands are gearing up hugely, and very successfully.
India’s aspiration wave and changing shopping trends in the metros, Tier II and
III cities of the region have driven the conventional stores to morph into more organized, large-format retail outlets. And, to facilitate this growth of retail, many retail realty projects have sprung up in all major markets of
East India. Eastern states of India now display a glorious upward trend. Luxury buying has transformed from an occasional indulgence into necessity and increasing consumer spending power is aiding this metamorphosis. It’s because of such development of taste for fashion and brands customers are making a beeline for malls to look at, touch, feel, buy, and then revel in the experience of possessing high end international and national products.
Eastern India is in the cusp of being transformed from a traditional customer base into a fashion conscious, brand-savvy market. Its young generation is shopping and demanding both fashion and quality along with value for money spent from retailers. The consumers’ ambitions to reach global standards in lifestyle, coupled with high disposable incomes, are aggressively scripting a radical change in the business viability of organised retailing East India.
Though little late in the day, the populace of Eastern India has learnt to adapt themselves to the changing purchasing pattern. The retail, wholesale and the distribution industries are undergoing a period of transformation with broader retail market at a growth of 5-6 percent annually. Therefore, brands are searching for ways to increase their market share and hence profitability. Eastern India is no different to the change. One umbrella solution and experience has always been the key differentiator expected by an ever-changing market palate. Though disruption is the new normal, but retailers will always harp on spaces to offer their product experiences to the prospective consumer, irrespective of the brand. Malls have had their contribution to the economic growth, educative purchasing behavior clubbed with entertainment under one umbrella.
Although there were malls present in the metro cities of Eastern India a little over a decade now, however, Ranchi, Jharkhand’s capital, witnessed its first mall in the form of JD Hi Street, which is located right on the city’s main road. The entire stretch of the main road is like a pronounced paradise for all kinds of shoppers. JD Hi Street had gauged this changing trend almost seven years ago and decided to come up with the solution for Ranchi-ites as well as tourists in the shape of a mall. JD Hi Street has had the first mover’s advantage and were instrumental in bringing in a mall culture to Ranchi. As a result, we have been able to rope in top brands including our anchor store Reliance, Carnival Cinemas, gaming zone amoeba and state-of-the-art culinary offerings on our fourth floor. We have been awarded many times for our experiential offerings especially since we have addressed the four catalysts: the economy through affordable prices and brands, enabling technologies within the setup like Wi-fi enabled Mall, platforms for entertainment across the mall, events for consumer engagement and entertainment. The goal of JD Hi Street is to have maximum engagement and consumers within the mall to enjoy a great experience and ambiance.
Bishnu Kumar Agarwal:
Eastern India is in the cusp of being transformed from a traditional customer base into a fashion conscious, brandsavvy market. It’s the younger generation that is shopping and demanding both fashion and quality along with value for money spent from the retailers. To meet these impossible demands retailers – big and small, branded and unbranded, regional, national and even international – are gearing up huge and very successfully. To cater to these consumers, retailers need to wake up to the importance of managing retailing efficiently and effectively. Retail management saves time and ensures the customers easily locate their desired merchandise at the more organised platform and return home feeling satisfied that they have received what they have paid for. The consumers’ ambitions to reach global standards in lifestyle, coupled with high disposable incomes, are aggressively scripting a radical change in the business viability of organised retailing East India.
The consumers’ ambitions to reach global standards in lifestyle, coupled with high disposable incomes, are aggressively bringing about a change in organised retailing in East India. Luxury buying has increased manifold due to increased consumer spending power. What was unthinkable in the Eastern region till a few years ago is becoming a reality now, and the credit goes to premium retail like Quest which has brought brands like Breitling, Canali, Michael Kors, Burberry, Emporio Armani, Paul Smith, Super Dry, Hugo Boss and many more into the region. South City Mall took a very bold step closing down the mall for a year, in spite of being one of the most successful malls in India. They did so to take it up to the next level in terms of look and experience and also for creating spaces for brands like Zara, Forever 21, Sephora, Starbucks as well as a lot of other international brands which are totally new to Kolkata and Eastern India.
Along with this, brands like H&M, and Hard Rock
Café – which recently opened on the high streets – have already started to bring about a significant change in the retail scenario in the East. Other cities in the region like Bhubaneshwar, Ranchi,
Patna, Asansol and Durgapur are also changing in terms of creating more organised retail space in the form of malls to accommodate the rising demand. The malls are seeing better footfalls and conversions than earlier since the local population is aspiring to reach better standards of lifestyle due to increased disposable income. This is also leading retailers taking up mall spaces to address the shift of customers from traditional marketplaces to malls.
East has been a little slow in the mall development area but with advent of good malls in Tier II cities of the region is giving a good competition to the other regions across India. Best example is the mall developed by us in Patna which is attracting most of the national brands.
We are growing steadily and are on the right track to develop more malls in the future.