BIGGER problem with premium retail space : Rental cost or Low Footfall

The Great India Retail saga!
The current economic downturn has affected the stupendous (high double digit) growth rate Retail industry was enjoying. Retail business in India is still maintaining its growth given the prevailing unfavorable market conditions. There is a lot of investment riding on retail industry and to develop newer facilities for retail business. The options are aplenty these days, range catering to various (specific) retail needs.

Challenges posed to the realty developers are paramount. Developers like DLF, Unitech, Ansal etc. are facing multi-dimensional problems; grave pressure to meet the timelines on their new projects, threatened by international giants (walmart, carrefour) entering the retails space, while simultaneously stressed to ensure footfalls at their Malls and Mega shopping facilities that are already open.

Mall rental vs Low footfall
Retail spaces are expensive because there are definite costs involved to maintain and upkeep such fabulous, worldclass facilities. The bigger problem I think is that the malls fail to attract visitors. The retailers are not able to find the value for money staying invested in a luxury or up-market shopping mall. It is in mutual interest of both the mall operators & retailers as well as a core responsibility of the mall operators to stimulate footfalls.

How to stimulate footfall?
(Traditionally) Among the many things that attract desired attention are;

Source of entertainment - Food courts, Cineplex, Pubs etc
Organise events with celebrity attractions
Shopping festival / carnivals
Special attractions for kids etc. etc

Fresh ideas!
How about DLF starts (FREE) shuttle service in the city connecting its malls and the city hotels. DLF could engage city tour operators to do the job for them. For example in the city of Delhi; the shuttle service would connect the DLF GIP Saket & DLF Place & Emporio Vasant Kunj with 11 odd (5 star) international luxury hotels (in CP alone). This would encourage tourist & leisure travelers (both domestic & international) and would ensure a lot of cross pollination across board the tourism sector. Moreover this would also reduce the traffic on city road.

It is a tried & successful strategy observed in markets overseas, then what are we waiting for.


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