‘Shoppertainment’? Indian Malls On The Verge Of Boom With Major Evolution On The Cards

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    Despite a rise in the popularity of e-commerce, India will see a boom of malls in the next five years. As per a recent report, 85 new malls are set to open in top eight cities in India by 2023.

    “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,” Times Of India quoted Anarock Retail MD and CEO Anuj Kejriwal, as saying.

    The report comes as a surprise owing to the rise in the popularity of the e-commerce industry. However, it turns out that the present Indian shopping malls are not just here to stay, but are going to boom in the coming times.

    Shopping malls in India will be more about an experience. No matter that the commute and the time spend come across as a hindrance combined with hefty discounts that some online sites offer, e-commerce will have no impact on the retail industry. Here is why:

    • Unlike e-commerce, malls offer the experience of touch-and-feel.
    • Going to a mall is more of a social activity where shopping is often couples with meals at food court and entertainment at the cineplex.
    • Indians offer deferr smaller purchases for the weekends, when they can couple the shopping with other activities which only a mall can offer.
    • In haphazardly-grown crowded Indian cities, where open spaces are vanishing, a visit to a clean, visually vibrant and centrally air-conditioned mall is a major attraction.

    Also, malls are going to extend to tier II cities like Lucknow, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Mangalore and Ahmedabad. While it is clear that malls are here to stay, it is also evident that the developers will have to transform shopping malls into more of a community space to stay relevant to today’s far more discerning customers and make them stay longer.

    Located at a prime location, a mall should have a higher food, drink, entertainment and play quotient under the same roof. They also should have a broad retail mix, with something for every member of a family.

    Since it is important to incorporate all the features required for successful operations of malls, bigger malls are expected to perform better than the smaller ones. Also, it will be an endless evolution and developers cannot become complacent. What works now may not work after five years.

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