Nearly 85 shopping malls are expected to come up in the country over the next five years, despite growing trend of online marketing, according to property consultant Anarock.
“There is so much talk of the death of brick-and-mortar retail as a consequence of the aggressive advent of e-commerce into the country, when the fact is that shopping malls have just got started in India – and they are definitely here to stay,” Anarock Retail MD and CEO Anuj Kejriwal said in a report.
Over the next five years, the consultant said that nearly 85 malls are expected to come up in India.
Out of 85, more than 30 new malls accounting for nearly 14 million sq ft area will open just in the top eight cities by 2020.
Kejriwal hoped that mall revolution in India will go for next cycle of evolution as real estate developers learn through their experience to find more winning formulas for their malls and also as retailers get more into omni-channel selling.
Explaining why Indian mall story rocks, Kejriwal said: “Unlike ‘couch potato’ e-commerce shopping, malls offer an experience… a touch-and-feel benefit which online shopping cannot”.
Further, he said that going to a mall becomes an outing for the family and friends and that too in an air-conditioned comfort.
“The massive Indian middle class loves this experience and online retail is unlikely to put malls in the shade in India anytime soon,” he said.
However, he said that e-commerce has had an effect on mall business as online portals offer deep discount.
Kejriwal said that both online shopping and physical retail will continue to coexist in India, without impacting each other too much.
The consultant said the cities that have seen maximum malls include the national capital region, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune.
The expansion of shipping malls are now taking place in tier-ll cities because of low vacancy levels and high rentals in big cities.
Overseas retailers are now expanding not just in metros but even tier 2 cities namely Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Jaipur and this has led to mushrooming of malls all across the country, Kejriwal said.
“We are definitely not looking at a deathbed scenario here – as a matter of fact, just the opposite. However, like every other real estate vertical in India, retail has also had to evolve with the times in order to retain its allure,” he said.
Stating that no mall in India can survive on just shopping experience, the consultant said developers have understood that they need to transform their malls into a prominent ‘shoppertainment’ locations.
The consultant also said that large malls tend to do better as they are better able to incorporate all the features required for successful operations.
Many malls have failed in India due to variety of reasons such as wrong location, insufficient or unscientific parking arrangements, unsuitable tenant mix and lack of a food court, among others.
Strata-ownership of shops was also a major issue in many of the failed malls.