Sunday, February 03, 2013

Pune Mall Mania

Pune's mall frenzy has reached a state where it could cost dear to retailers and real estate companies pumping money in setting up these swanky places which are turning into more of a recreational place to hang out, rather than actually promoting actual sales for shops leasing places at an expensive price.

Consider eastern belt of the city and you can note the actual distance at which these malls are located defies any commercial logic. These malls are located near Yerwada - Kalyani Nagar - Koregaon Park - Viman Nagar.

1) Ishanya Mall - Pulse Mall (2.5 km)
2) Pulse Mall - Phoenix Market City (1.9 km)
3) Phoenix Market City - Inorbit Mall (700 mts)
4) Jewel Square Mall - Koregaon Park Plaza (3.1 Kms)
5) Koregaon Park Plaza - Mariplex Mall (1.5 Kms)

Few years back Mariplex Mall was the only mall in this area and the rate at which malls have swelled goes to prove retailers and real estate companies would have sensed a potential for business which is not the case as per a recent Assocham report Pune's 42% mall space is still vacant.

Vendors like Croma electronics, Reliance book and digital store outlet, Spencer have closed shops and moved between these places maybe as a part of consolidation strategy, with so many options nearby it's eventually causing consumer fragmentation and malls purely survive on hypermarket, dining or pub outlets and multiplex presence with no significant value add for the consumers beyond these categories. In fact there are many well established restaurants in most areas of the city which do not require a mall presence.

Many of these malls have got on to social media platforms to attract visitors by organising weekend event's and contests etc. Apart from Phoenix Market City and Inorbit mall I doubt other malls are actually succeeding in retaining vendors or attracting shopper volumes, In fact Pulse mall is probably on the verge of closing shutters.

Some concentration of malls at M.G Road is still a better deal because as a location it offer's proximity to the  local shopping outlets which are already existing along with the malls. What Pune also lacks is a shopper's paradise like Manish market, Heera Panna in Mumbai, Nehru Palace, Palika Bazaar in Delhi etc. Maybe traditional spots in Peth area and Laxmi road bazaar could evolve in future to be such shopping destination for Pune.

For now I think mall mania should pause for some time to see how retail market develops in Pune.

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