Shop­ping malls are not go­ing any­where

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Anuj Puri ht­spe­cial­pro­jects@htlive.com The au­thor is chair­man of Anarock Prop­erty Con­sul­tants

With the ad­vent of e-com­merce in In­dia, shop­ping con­verged into mo­bile de­vices in the form of web­sites and apps, where one could buy ev­ery­thing, from gro­ceries and ap­parel to elec­tron­ics. For a while, it ap­peared that couch-po­tato shop­ping was a real threat to phys­i­cal re­tail and shop­ping malls. That has not hap­pened. In fact, shop­ping malls are wit­ness­ing a vis­i­ble resur­gence in In­dia. A clear mea­sure of this is that pri­vate eq­uity (PE) play­ers in­vested more than $700 mil­lion into In­dian re­tail in Q1-Q3 2017 it­self - around 90% of the in­vest­ments that came in dur­ing the past two years (2015 and 2016).

Shop­ping malls in In­dia have come a long way, from less than five malls in 2001-02 to more than 500 in 2017.

As it was, a few badly-con­ceived and ex­e­cuted malls did fail, show­ing that there is a need for de­vel­op­ing mul­ti­chan­nel re­tail­ing rather than re­ly­ing on the tra­di­tional meth­ods.

Con­sid­er­ing that fun­da­men­tal growth driv­ers of re­tail re­main in­tact, global in­vestors and shop­ping mall devel­op­ers re­main bullish. The no­table in­di­ca­tors of a fairly bright fu­ture for In­dian shop­ping malls in­clude:

FAVOURABLE POLI­CIES

100% FDI in sin­gle-brand re­tail and mar­ket­ing of food prod­ucts, re­lax­ation of sourc­ing norms for multi-brand re­tail­ers and the re­vised Model Shop and Es­tab­lish­ment Act (that al­lows shops to re­main open 24x7) are ma­jor growth driv­ers for the sec­tor.

WELL-TRAV­ELLED INDIANS

A sig­nif­i­cant por­tion of In­dia’s pop­u­la­tion are now trav­el­ling for busi­ness or leisure and now have an ex­po­sure to var­i­ous brands, hav­ing vis­ited the fan­ci­est malls across the globe.

HOLIS­TIC SHOP­PING EX­PE­RI­ENCE

Shop­ping is no longer re­stricted to the mere process of buy­ing prod­ucts - Indians are now look­ing at a holis­tic shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence where they can spend time with friends and fam­ily.

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