A city that was once hailed as the country's prime shopping destination which introduced the concepts of modern retailing - like heterogeneous product mix, air-conditioned ambiance and attractive price points - is now struggling to fill up the empty space in it's malls. Of the top eight retail hot-spots in the country, malls in Ahmedabad have the highest vacancy of 30 percent, states a report released by global consultants Cushman & Wakefield (C&W) on Tuesday.
While not a single new mall has come up in Ahmedabad during the last 30 months, mall-developers are finding it difficult to fill up space in malls as retailers choose to open new shops on city-streets like CG Road and SG Highway.
According to the C&W report, the vacancy in malls of Ahmedabad currently stands at over 31 percent which is way above the average of 14 percent for the top eight shopping destinations in the country. The second highest vacancy is seen in malls of Pune (25%), followed by Mumbai (15%) and NCR (13%).
"Given high mall vacancy levels and a high preference (from retailers) for main streets, Ahmedabad did not witness any mall supply and has no mall under construction," states the report.
The report predicts that the high vacancy levels in malls on SG Highway will bring about a correction in rentals in the coming months. Currently, the malls on SG Highway have a monthly rental of Rs 75 (per square feet).
The highest rental in a mall is at Vastrapur (Rs 120 per sq ft), while the lowest is at Kankaria lake (Rs 60 per sq ft). The monthly rentals of stand-alone stores located on shopping streets of Ahmedabad range between Rs 90-150 per square feet.