DELHI: Malls are turning into focal points for residents in the new high-end luxurious—even affordable—housing segments in gated communities that are coming up in the Delhi NCR-also, in other urban centres across India.
Nowadays, malls are being designed as modernistic shopping complexes offering best-in-class retail-cum-entertainment services where customers can expect to get products from a range of brands, national and international, and also spend a fulfilling weekend with their friends and families at any of their food courts, kids’ play areas, indoor sporting facilities, and of course multiplexes.
There is a lot of potential for new malls in urban centres across India, as the mall culture has been welcomed with open arms by Indians, cutting across the social strata. The organized retail only comprises 3% of the retail industry and is expected to grow at 25% every year.
Top realty players have already launched several glitzy projects in the Delhi NCR, which are attracting huge footfalls; many more are being constructed across India like DLF’s Mall of India, Omaxe Ltd’s Omaxe Connaught Place, Bhasin Group’s Grand Venice, The RED, Curo High Street by Curo Group in Jalandhar, Appu Ghar in Noida, Rohini, Gurgaon, Jaipur, etc.
A report estimates that the ideal per capita mall space in India’s Top 20 urban centres is about 1.2 sq ft per person, but this can fluctuate from 1-1.5 sq ft in different micro-markets based on the per-capita income of that particular micro-market. With an estimated current urban population of over 27 million people and based on an ideal mall space ratio of 1.2 sq ft per capita, one of the hottest mall markets, the Delhi NCR, can currently absorb around 32 million sq ft in GLA (Gross Lettable Area).
Mantra for developing malls
With rise in demand, the average size of shopping malls in India has begun to increase as developers focus on larger spaces. The success of a mall depends on its size as superior-grade malls are nearly double the size of the average-grade malls. It is estimated that the average size of a superior-grade mall is 4,00,000 sq ft.
The larger malls allow for a complete tenant mix in various formats, and can adopt modern mall-management practices easily. With the introduction of FDI in multi-brand retail, the average size of a mall is likely to increase as foreign retailers tend to occupy large space.
Forthcoming high-end malls
DLF is going to open Mall of India near hotel Radisson in Sector 18, Noida, very soon; with the total built-up area of this project being nearly 27,07,575 sq ft and with a gross leasable area of 16,00,000 sq ft, this mall is possibly India’s first such project to offer six floors of shopping and entertainment.
The Wave Group has an impressive record of developing shopping malls in north India. Wave Malls in Noida, Kaushambi, Lucknow, Moradabad, and Ludhiana are testaments to its successful track record. The Wave Group plans to extend its reach by opening malls in Jammu and Bareilly by the end of 2013.
“Organized retail in India has been on an upswing for the last several years, as evident from several malls being planned and opened across cities. The Wave Mall in Noida by our group was the first mall that opened up in Noida, which helped its residents experience world-class retail shopping, multiplex culture, and restaurants-all in one place,” Rajiv Gupta, CEO of Wave Infratech, said.
Recreating the magic of the iconic Connaught Place of Delhi (OCP), Omaxe is developing Omaxe Connaught Place, one of the largest shopping-cum-entertainment malls in Greater Noida. The forthcoming mall will feature ultramodern office space, a world-class shopping mall, a 5-screen multiplex, a 5-star hotel, food courts, family entertainment zones, and more. Spread over 15 acres with a total built-up area of nearly 1.9 million sq ft, the USP of the mall is its huge corridors, tall pillars-very much like the Connaught Place in New Delhi.
Omaxe, and Wizcraft International, an entertainment agency, are jointly developing a special theme zone at Omaxe Connaught Place. Wizcraft will conceptualize and execute this thematic entertainment zone, spread over nearly 30,000 sq ft, which is designed to cater to all age groups. OCP is also expected to pull in people from adjoining cities like Agra, Mathura, Vrindavan, and Aligarh, apart from the ever-rising domestic and international tourists.
Mohit Goel, CEO, Omaxe Ltd, says, “The burgeoning population in Greater Noida is expected to give a big boost to commercial and retail space in the region. More than 200 brands have already signed up with OCP to open their stores, including Wal-Mart’s Easyday-the mall will open to the public in June 2014.”
Top retail entertainment players like Red Solutions Pvt Ltd joint, in a joint venture with Celebration City Projects Pvt Ltd, is coming up with RED (Retail Entertainment Destination) in Ghaziabad. RED will be one of the largest malls in Ghaziabad and is expected to have an ideal combination of entertainment, retail, and hospitality. The project will have indoor and outdoor entertainment facilities for all age groups; the mall will also have Ghaziabad’s largest 12-lane bowling alley, indoor amusement park with 15 rides for children, and outdoor and indoor rides.
Rakesh Babbar, MD of Red Solutions Pvt Ltd, says: “We are not making a normal mall but a ‘destination’— a one-stop destination for world-class shopping, dining, and entertainment experience for the entire family, at affordable prices. The first phase (4.5 lakh sq ft) of the mall is almost ready for operation.”
Bhasin Group is developing a mall-cum-tourist destination project, Grand Venice, near Pari Chowk in Greater Noida. The forthcoming mall will have Venice-themed retail outlets with canals, gondola rides, etc. Positioned as tourism centre with a grand retail podium, the mall will house a host of national and international apparel brands, a hypermarket, electronic and departmental stores, a cineplex, entertainment outlets, a 5-star hotel, and office space. The mall is being developed as one of the largest indoor amusement parks over 1,00,000 sq ft.
Curo Group has Curo High Street in Jalandhar, which will be fully operational from January 2014, a spokesman of the group said. Curo High Street is said to be Punjab’s first European-style market place.