Brand experience can be better tapped on high streets

Author:  Narayan Dev Mishra- VP-Sales, Spectrum Metro

The Indian retail market has progressed from weekly bazaars to high-end shopping malls. As a result, global corporations have begun to enter the Indian market to grow their operations in the future. The rise of India’s high street is being fueled by various factors, including changing lifestyles, increased urbanisation, and allowing 100 per cent FDI in retail. The format has been famous in Delhi NCR, too, with many famous high streets such as Khan Market in Delhi. However, it is expensive to have a presence in these posh locations; however, demand did not die, and there remained a gap for quite some time.

As a result of the growing demand, developers are offering a wider range of high streets to clients. The toughest part was to look for a suitable location in the region that is clogged with construction everywhere. It should be bear in mind that the two most important characteristics of a high street are strong visibility and road access. The location is one of the most critical factors in determining the success of a high street; it should not be far away from the city centre as the idea will get defeated due to the sheer amount of travel time.

According to studies, high-street marketplaces like Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Bengaluru are home to over 60% of eateries. Known retail outlets were also trying to break out of the format and provide personalized experiences to their customers. Meanwhile, a global pandemic hit the world, calling for places for shoppers that can provide minimal touchpoints to ensure the safety of the visitors. Luckily, Delhi NCR developers have been working on the format, and the pandemic provided an opportunity to the retailers to head towards these high street options in National Capital Territory.

The reason for the popularity of the high street format is the traditional setting it provides, which people are used to enjoy. On the other hand, retailers are favouring high streets over malls because they yield higher rental returns. Add-ons like Common Area Maintenance fees, parking fees, and other costs are included in mall leasing, making meals a costly option. Malls have a variety of touchpoints, including elevators, parking, and other common areas. On the other hand, single entrance shops on high streets allow retailers to make their own hygiene standards, including hand sanitization, temperature checks, and visitor registration, while reducing the number of touchpoints.

Ease of getting things implemented is also working in favour of the high streets. Implementing any regulation in a mall typically needs the collaboration of several merchants, which can lead to a protracted decision-making process. On high streets, strata ownership allows for one-on-one relationships between owners and tenants, making it easier to negotiate and make choices.

Customers prefer high streets to malls because they save time and money on the former. Consumers no longer seek out the movie-shopping-dining-out experience, choosing to make their vital purchases at retail locations; high streets enable the seamless operation of this feature. Furthermore, the brand and retail experience can be better tapped on high streets. In Tier I and II cities, there is a strong need for high streets. Noida and Ghaziabad in the National Capital Region have become high-street retail hotspots, with many developers coming out with developments here.

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