With Indian retail sector on fast forward growth track the segment is going through a lot of changes. Experts say, Indian retail sector is pegged to grow by 60 per cent to $1.1 trillion by 2020. The booming retail market along with diminishing entry barriers has attracted the attention of many overseas retailers, who are exuberantly expanding their operations especially in Tier II cities like Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Jaipur. By 2017-end, there were more than 600 operational malls across the country. What’s more over 30 new shopping malls covering nearly 14 million sq. ft. area are expected to come up across top eight cities by 2020.
The top-performing shopping malls are essentially mixed-use businesses that incorporate social entertainment options. With their use of new age technologies from design and construction stage to final end-user experience, they have now become stand-alone brands. In fact, some leading malls in and around NCR offer unique experiences like the DLF Mall in Noida that has an indoor ski-range or the World Trade Park in Jaipur that has a unique display feature wherein 24 projectors create a single image on its ceiling. The Grand Venice Mall in Greater Noida is a tourist attraction with its Venetian theme which includes gondola rides and provides a distinctly European feel while the Lulu International Mall in Kochi - touted to be the largest mall in the country - creatively uses technology-based novelties like geo-fencing, beacon technology and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). Established as lifestyle and entertainment destinations, the Phoenix Market City chain of malls in Bengaluru and Chennai offer holistic and premium experience for retail, entertainment and movies, and F&B.
Mapping all corners
The Western region of the country, especially the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, houses some of the most iconic shopping centres such as Inorbit Mall, High Street Phoenix and Infinity Mall, among others. Similarly neighbouring Pune, has generous amount of land available, is home to prominent malls like Phoenix Market City, Amanora Town Centre and Seasons Mall. The phenomenal success of malls across the metros has encouraged Tier II cities like Thiruvananthapuram and Mangalore to embrace the mall culture, with the former seeing the launch of Mall of Travancore early this year.
Indian malls today strive to become prominent ‘shoppertainment’ locations by focusing on their own inherent strengths and advantages. This results in the shoppers being spoilt. However, matters can change quickly in the rapidly evolving world of organised retail with a lot depending on government’s actions in terms of infrastructure and policy. So far these have been positive with the Great Indian Mall Story firing on all cylinders.