Retailers and marketers see no streak of pessimism amidst Indian consumers, pointing out that they are not to averse to spending whenever they see great value in a brand proposition.  In fact, India’s consumer and retail growth is showing no impending signs of slowdown as new malls keep coming across India. The country as of May has no less than 570 functional malls with an area of a whopping 180 m sq ft. In 2007, just about 225 malls were there.

An interesting news report in TOI, based on a survey done by a renowned realty consultancy firm – Bangalore’s Asipac Consulting, highlighted many important facts as follows:

The seven metros have 190 operational malls even as more than 60 opened across India in the last one year alone, data from says. And it’s not just the number of malls that has more than doubled since 2008 — the average area of the top 15 malls across the country has gone up 40% (from 6.17 lakh sq ft to 8.66 lakh sq ft) in the last three years.

Over the next three years, the average area of the top 15 malls is projected to go over 10.3 lakh sq ft, based on ongoing construction, the report says, indicating the preference for building larger shopping complexes. The average daily footfall in Phoenix Marketcity, the largest mall in terms of size, is 65,789 compared to 90,803 for GIP, Noida, ranked seventh on the list.

Developers such as the Rahejas (Inorbit), Phoenix (Market City), DLF and Prestige ( Forum) are now building larger malls as these have a better chance of succeeding in an overcrowded marketplace, the report says. Industry experts say consumers prefer bigger malls which offer more brands under one roof rather than visiting multiple malls, mirroring what happened in the mature retail markets years ago.

With easing of the FDI policy, international retailers coming to India are expected to occupy larger spaces thereby increasing revenues. A dipstick done by Asipac shows around 40% of the malls in the country are performing well. Of the ones doing well, most grew by about 16% last year and 12% in financial year 2013 — not really bad considering the overall macro situation in the country.  Bigger malls may not succeed immediately but they eventually pull in people because of the mix of brands that they offer, according to Amit Bagaria, the Asipac group’s founder.

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