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Retailers bank on high-streets for expansion
Apr '10
As retailers prepare for a short-term break in supply of mall space next year, they are currently targeting high-ranking streets, such as Connaught Place in New Delhi, Linking Road in Mumbai, CG Road in Ahmedabad and Brigade Road in Bangalore, as possible locations to set up retail or chain stores.

Between October 2011 and March 2013, when property analysts anticipate a fall in mall expansions, retail outlets such as Madura Garments, Shoppers Stop, United Colors of Benetton (UCB), Reliance Retail, Arvind Brands and others, intend to further enhance their presence in the high-ranking streets and associate their brands with multiplexes to continue with their expansion plans.

Analysts anticipate a fall in mall expansions as, within the last two years, retailers pulled back their lease contracts and rentals crashed owing to the global economic meltdown. Due to this several projects were cancelled by developers. This forced retailers to foray into other modes of expansion plans.

However, due to limited availability of high-street properties, a lot of changes in the commercial infrastructure could possibly be made during the construction phase, wherein for example, the first and second floors could also turn into retail stores along with the ground floor.

It is likely, that during the period under consideration, developers will be pressed, to pull down old buildings or theatres making way for retail stores, so as to meet the high-street demands.

While Benetton intends to expand its current stores in smaller cities and other metros, Shoppers Stop plans to associate itself with multiplexes, following the success of its store at Juhu in Mumbai, as it helps them draw larger number of customers.

Stores such as Madura Garments, Reliance Retail and Arvind Brands are betting on high-streets. Infact stores such as Madura that owns brands such as Van Heusen, Allen Solly and Louis Philippe, are sure of locating stores of about 1,000 – 3,000 square feet on high streets.

High-street expansion costs could be heavy on retailer's pockets in comparison to opening a store within a mall as availability of space within malls, better infrastructure such as parking facilities, and lower store rentals will play the guiding factor in setting up the store within a mall.

A retarded pace of retail expansion during the period when mall supply will drop, is anticipated, due to which experts predict that, smaller retail stores are likely to face more pressure as the growth of a well thought-out retail plan is dependent on inexpensive real estate properties.

Fibre2Fashion News Desk - India

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