DELHI: Over a dozen mall projects were deferred in most major cities in the first half of 2013 when three malls, totalling 2.94 million sq. ft, entered the market, according to a retail report by Cushman & Wakefield.
Five mall projects were deferred in NCR; two malls each in Pune, Hyderabad, and Chennai; and one mall each in Bangalore and Kolkata. New mall space was added in Mumbai — Viviana Mall — and in Chennai — Forum Prestige Mall and Phoenix Market City —all of which were launched with over 95 per cent occupancy, the report said.
Primarily, developers are facing liquidity issues to complete construction of their malls. Additionally, though retailers are optimistic about their growth plans in India, they are cautious about opening new stores and are carrying out comprehensive due diligences to understand the market before making commitments. On the other hand, developers are not in a position to launch malls until they get sizeable occupancy that can support the operations.
This is especially true in the case of large-sized malls, where they have to ensure they have as many tenants as possible before launching.
A press release quoting Sanjay Dutt, Executive Managing Director, South Asia Cushman & Wakefield, said, “There is considerable demand for quality retail spaces in both shopping malls as well as main streets in most cities.
However retailers, though optimistic about their expansion plans, are showing caution prior to launching new stores. Malls now prefer to open with near full occupancy, as was seen in some recent cases.
Some new malls may be opened before the end of the year making way for more quality options for international and national retailers.”