Absolutely, without any doubt the mall culture has gripped Indians and they seem love every bit of it.
Few days back I visited a newly opened 2 million square feet everything-under-one-roof mall in Pune. I was shocked to see the number of people that had thronged the place. It seemed to be some kind of a huge people procession out there.
In earlier days (about a decade back), if you wanted to do any kind of shopping, one had couple of places to go (or should I say streets) like Laxmi Road or Main street (every city has shopping streets like these, especially in the downtown area), where small shoppers line up across the roads. Bargaining to extract the best price was common place- and it had it own charm too.
But everything has changed now. The younger and older generation alike prefer buying stuff from huge malls where one not only get variety, but quality too at moderate prices.
Even for your everyday grocery buying superstores have come up at every nook and corner. Just to give you an example, we have around 8 superstores (Reliance fresh, Spencers, Big Bazaar) within area of roughly 5 sq. km. The main attraction with all of them is competitive pricing as compared to next door retail grocery shop.
In a recent survey done by Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, a real estate consultancy firm, it reports that 328 new malls are expected to come up in metros and Tier I, II, III cities by 2010.
And the reason for so many malls and super stores coming up is simple – huge consumer demand.
According to study carried out by Assocham, a whooping Rs. 1,31,804 crore has been invested in organised retailing in last 6 months alone.
Here are some of the highlights of that study:
- Organized retail growing at estimated 25%; set to penetrate tier II and tier III cities like Pune, Chandigarh and Hyderabad; investment worth Rs27,550 crore announced
- Real estate companies like Unitech and DLF draw up plans that cater to growing demand of shopping malls; capex of Rs65,000 planned to be invested in real estate development for retail space in next four to five years; food and grocery is next big retail segment with investment plan of Rs22,100 crore
- Hyper marts will soon dot the Indian retail space with investment announcements of Rs29,154 crore expected to set them up
- Companies like Reliance Retail have set aside Rs24,000 crore for setting up hyper marts by 2010-11 in National Capital Region; Spencer retail announced capex of Rs3000 crore for expanding its retail outlet and setting up hyper marts by 2010
- Increased competition among food & grocery retailers will provide better services to users; capex of Rs22,100 crore planned to set up chains of food and grocery stores in next three years
- Past six months witnessed major expansion in textile and apparel segment by large retailers including Provogue, Trent and Arvind Mills drawing up an investment chart of Rs7,900 crore for setting up new stores in Pune, Hyderabad, Navi Mumbai
- Job creation centres of the future will be cities like Hyderabad, Pune, Surat and Chandigarh among others
Retail sector seems to be the next big thing in India, and with Software jobs going down, retail seems to be the perfect sector to dive in for aspiring candidates !