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Executive Director Inorbit Malls India Pvt Ltd
GST will help retailers operate on a supply chain model compared to tax model
Inorbit Malls, a subsidiary of the K. Raheja Corporation, pioneered mall culture in India seeking to provide a one-stop destination for fashion, lifestyle, food and entertainment for families. Rajneesh Mahajan, executive director, Inorbit Malls India, gives a glimpse of the evolving retail scene in India.
The Indian retail landscape has changed a lot over the last 5 years. What are the changes that you expect to see in the next two?
The FDI retail policy is a welcome move taken by the government which has paved the way to strengthen organized retail. This policy opens the door to foreign investors to invest in retail. The retail sector earlier faced problems in channels like backend technology, supply chain and human resources. But with this initiative we will see improvisation in these areas and will lead to intense expansion. FDI will also help single brands open larger format experiential stores in high street locations. The industry will flourish in terms of quality and consumer expectation.
At what rate is the retail industry in India growing? What is fuelling this growth?
Various reports peg it to around 8 per cent. Over the last few years the retail scenario has undergone a rapid change. With a rise in the standard of living, people have become more fashion conscious. In addition to this, the digital influence has given consumers an exposure to fashion. People can access information on latest trends at their fingertips. Urbanization too has contributed to expansion of retail avenues giving people access to various brands. Consumption today is driven by health, beauty, and fashion retailers.
How have e-commerce and the omni-channel buzz impacted sales at malls like Inorbit, perhaps the oldest in the country?
Our foot falls never got impacted, though e-commerce took a bit of our consumption. However, now we can see the gap closing with discounts getting dried up on e-commerce platforms.
What steps could boost the business of retail in the country?
Doing the basics right is the key to success. This includes better quality of stores and better consumer experience. There is always a growing demand for large shopping spaces and good brands. The larger format stores entice customers to shop more. Nowadays shopping is all about experience. Great customer service contributes to great experience. Therefore it is essential for malls to change as per consumer needs and exceed shopper expectations.
Malls versus high streets - how is this expected to play out in the next two years?
Brands will start taking flagship stores in high street locations. Malls will be high on fashion and entertainment. High street too will see lot of large format experiential stores, but high street will majorly remain strong at F&B formats.
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