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Shopping malls spoil shopaholics for choice, chart biz metro success route

Patna, April 25: Shopaholics in Patna now have the luxury to indulge themselves, courtesy a spurt in the number of shopping malls mushrooming across the city.

But aficionados claim malls are not just about shopping but the complete experience. The growing popularity of the newly opened P&M Mall is testimony to the newfound love of Patna residents.

“Around 20,000 people visit the P&M Mall everyday. The footfall touches goes up to 40,000 or 50,000 on weekends and holidays. If this is the response to Big Bazaar — the only outlet that has opened its doors at present — think what would happen when the other retail outlets open in the first week of June,” said Pankaj Kumar, marketing head, P&M Mall.

Hold your breath — Meena Bazaar, an outlet for women’s apparel, will open in the first week of May. The food court will be functional by May 15 and the retail outlets and multiplex will up shutters by June 1.

Kulbir Singh Sohil, a resident of SK Puri area, said: “Malls have become an integral part of the lifestyle of youths in Patna. It is high time we had more malls. We can hang out there for hours. Also, an array of products are available under one roof at these malls.”

Builders and realtors are raking in the moolah that the boost in the retail, entertainment and hospitality sector is generating.

“The state government has been very supportive. The city residents are also willing to spend. The P&M Mall — constructed on government land where the Bihar Industrial Area Development Authority had its office earlier — has become a win-win situation for both citizens and the government. This kind of co-ordination is necessary for the fast development of these areas,” said Nanhey Kumar, state convener, Builders’ Association of India, Patna.

He added that retail stores like Vishal Mega Mart and 9to9 have come up in Patna in the recent times but most of these were of small and medium-scale.

“A proper mall needs to be spread over at least 40lakh sqft to 50lakh sqft. A multi-storeyed building, spread over such a large area has the potential to retain prospective customers for five to six hours, and generate proportionate sales,” said Nanhey.

Boring Canal Road resident Karan Khaitan said: “Malls are a one-stop shopping solution. If Patna is adapting to the cosmopolitan lifestyle, then malls are a must. I am extremely happy with the P&M Mall, as apart from retail shopping people can also savour delicacies in the food court and watch movies from an array of choices at the multiplexes.”

The enthusiasm of Patna residents has also encouraged the business community to invest in shopping malls, a number of which are coming up all over Patna.

Vasundhara Metro Mall on Boring Canal Road, P-Mall on Exhibition Road, Vaishali Mall near Rajendra Nagar and City Centre Mall near Patna Museum are some of the cool hangouts that Patna residents can visit in the near future.

“City Centre, Patna, is a mega project. The mall would be spread over an area of 3 acres with a world-class hotel on the upper floors. The entire project is at a nascent stage at present,” said Pramod Diwedi, assistant vice-president, marketing, Ambuja Realty.

He added: “We are working on the design at present. Apart from the mall, the urban township would have residential and official apartments as well. City Centre, Patna, is going to surprise everyone in the city with a never-before experience in urban shopping culture.”

Shopaholics, we are sure, are more than willing to take out their credit cards and indulge in that inexplicable pleasure of buying.

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