Best Of Both Worlds

VM&RD - - RETAIL TRAVELOGUE -

The city of Pune has emerged as a hot re­tail hub with a met­ro­pol­i­tan out­look. The city is not only a cen­tre for ed­u­ca­tion but also hosts a gamut of multi­na­tional com­pa­nies. The business growth of Pune brought about a cer­tain de­mo­graphic change which is writ large on the city’s re­tail land­scape. So, while the tra­di­tional Peth area in the cen­tral part of Pune con­tin­ues to be a highly popular place for whole­sale and re­tail business, many other parts of the city, in par­tic­u­lar the east­ern and north­ern sides, are dot­ted with high-end re­tail out­lets. The first mall show­cas­ing in­ter­na­tional brands opened in the Kore­gaon Park in Pune in 2009. In the five in­ter­ven­ing years, mod­ern re­tail and show­rooms have sim­ply ex­ploded on the scene.

Vis­its to the bazaar and street shop­ping are highly popular among the city dwellers. One may say the city pf Pune has de­vel­oped and mod­ernised in re­cent years, but that has not al­tered the unique character of the tra­di­tional re­tail for­mats there, es­pe­cially in mar­ket ar­eas like Laxmi Road and Tul­si­bagh. Many a times there is a no­tice­able sim­i­lar­ity in th­ese two ar­eas, the only dif­fer­ence be­ing that one is or­gan­ised while the other is un­or­gan­ised. Th­ese lo­cal mar­kets have at­tuned them­selves to the emerg­ing cus­tomer pref­er­ences. As a case in point, the food out­lets in th­ese ar­eas are cog­nizant of to­day’s cus­tomer’s de­mand for top­pings on the food. They are equally aware of the need to taste­fully dis­play the prod­ucts to at­tract shop­pers. The lo­cal re­tail­ers are seen to be hon­ing their skills at prod­uct dis­play – on how to ar­range the prod­ucts in a pre­sentable man­ner, how to go about with the pro­mo­tions and of­fers on the win­dows or hand painted boards, how to cre­ate an aes­thetic ap­peal, which is now termed as visual mer­chan­dis­ing in re­tail. Puneites are gen­er­ally fas­ci­nated by the fash­ion and pref­er­ences in Mumbai and Delhi, and they seem to im­bibe them. So, what is on of­fer on the re­tail land­scape pretty is in sync with th­ese pref­er­ences. The win­dow dis­play con­cepts are also aligned ac­cord­ingly. That is where the com­par­a­tively safe, smart and the costly lo­ca­tion of Pune comes into con­sid­er­a­tion i.e. M.G. Road (Ma­hatma Gandhi Road, Pune). This is a place for all, where on the both sides of the street brands like UCB, Adi­das, Puma, Ray­mond, The Bom­bay Store, Van Hue­sen and oth­ers have been re­tail­ing for very many years. On the same road there are the lead­ing lo­cal re­tail­ers of Pune and the small stalls, shops for ac­ces­sories, clothes, bags, footwear, etc. Con­sid­er­ing that all types of re­tail­ers mi­grate to this part of the city, we can say that all types of con­sumers pre­fer shop­ping there. Some time back, the city body cre­ated a “Walk­ing Plaza” on week­ends on M.G. Road to en­cour­age peo­ple to eat, shop and have fun all across the street.

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