The session entitled ‘Where are the markets’ at the ISCF’09 ended on a positive note where the stalwarts from the industry shared their belief that there are immense opportunities and possibilities for mall developers and retailers to explore the markets beyond the metros. The growing consumer needs of the mini metros, tier II and III cities are almost matching up to that the metros had, may be in the year 2000 and 2001. Joanna Desouza, president, Future Capital Real Estate, moderated the panel discussion.
Shubhranshu Pani, MD Retail, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj, threw up a question to the fellow panelists asking, “But do we have enough brands wanting to expand into the tier II and III cities and fill out the shopping centers there?”
Taking out a page from the success story of his organisation, Rajan Malhotra, president, Retail Strategy, Future Group shared, “Our Big Bazaar stores have been doing very well at places like Sanghi, Ambala, Jalandhar, Bhopal, Nasik to name a few. Of course the model used for the metros need to be changed a bit. In the non metros, location plays a significant role and so does the scope for communication.”
At this juncture, J Suresh, COO, Arvind Brands rightly pointed out that it is the consumer behaviour that becomes the differentiating factor from region to region. He claimed, “In North a brand like Arrow might do well because of the status consciousness while the same brand might need to provide value for money to a consumer down south.”
Agreeing to the view points shared by the eminent speakers, Kush Mendora, CEO, EWDPL, said, “We are also working on bringing in the local flavours into our malls.”
The good news is that, a fair exchange of dialogues is taking place between retailers and the developers. So they are getting to understand each others needs for an amiable synergy and a win-win partnership in the long run!
— Sayanti Banerjee, Mumbai Bureau