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Swank malls hold key to the future

New Delhi, Nov. 15: Big Bazaar in Calcutta and Ansal Plaza in New Delhi are both shopping malls—out to give the customers the ultimate shopping experience. But they could not be more different in terms of the target crowd, theme and positioning. Retailing will not only need to build up the brand names of goods but also establish the brand of the shopping complex where the outlet is located.

In a time of brands, it is the branded malls that are being built up to take the number of malls in the country from an existing 60-65 (taking those under construction) to a whopping 280 at the end of 2005.

Anshuman Magazine, managing director south Asia Business, CB Richard Ellis said, “After the success of CrossRoads in Mumbai—India’s first lifestyle mall—there is a huge demand for retailing space. With global brands coming in they want the space to be also globally comparable—hence the proposition of malls.”

“There is a bit of oversupply with the number of proposed projects but that is because of the positioning of the malls. With the retail boom at 6 per cent per year, this supply will be lapped up in the future,” he added.

The malls will not only be hi-fi Ansal Plazas in the future—but will also cater to speciality stores, department stores, retail and housing, hyper markets, factory outlets and discount stores. The malls may have crèches for mothers to relax and shop when the baby plays, rest rooms for families so that they do not get tired of spending a whole day in a mall and, of course, entertainment at the end of the day.

Sushil Ansal, chairman, Ansal Properties and Industries Limited said, “After the success of Ansal Plaza, we are planning to make two out of the way malls in Faridabad and Greater Noida. Successful malls need to have an anchor shop and grow around it. But with a scarcity of that kind of space in the heart of the city, we have to look at the neighbouring areas. The driving experience should also be taken as a part of shopping at the mall.”

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