Q. What is the USP of Avani Riverside mall?
Avani Riverside is the first mall in Howrah district, which itself is a USP. The mall also has a vast retail space of 4 lakh sq.ft. with an imposing frontage. Apart from this, it has a footprint of over 1 lakh sq.ft. on each floor. A roof top terrace garden for parties, multi-level car parking, food court, and an entertainment zone for kids are other features. For the first time in Howrah, the residents will have the luxury of plush new-age multiplex. All of these coupled with the right retail zoning add up to the USP of the mall.
Q. Why did you choose Howrah for your first mall? What is the strategic importance of Howrah for you?
The retail potential in Howrah and in its suburban areas of Shibpur, Andul, Hoogli, and Vardhman is exponentially high and also largely untapped. Therefore, launching our first mall in Howrah will open up enormous possibilities of every kind, for businessmen and retailers alike.
Q. What is the size of the catchment area?
Howrah has a population of over 50 lakhs, and most of the people living there are business oriented. They have deep pockets. But because Howrah does not have a single mall or high street, people go all the way to Kolkata to visit the malls there. According to our survey, 30 percent footfall in Kolkata malls is generated by people from Howrah. We are expecting somewhere near 60 percent people from Howrah, 30 percent from Kolkata, and the remaining 10 percent from suburbs like Bally, Belur, and beyond to visit the mall.
Q. How important will Avani Riverside mall be for retailers and Kolkata’s general public?
Avani Riverside mall will prove very significant for both retailers and general public because of the fact that all the major national highways of Kolkata pass from Howrah, giving the people an opportunity to shop on the go. Several national retailers have taken space in our mall, which proves the kind of popularity our mall shares among the retailers. Reliance Group is opening four of their formats with us, Future Group is opening three, and PVR will be opening its multiplex in the mall; we have also tied up with several other brands such as McDonald’s, Pizza Hut, Pantaloons, Big Bazaar, KFC, and Subway. Avani Riverside Mall will surely change the lifestyle of people in Howrah.
Q. What is the expected footfall on weekdays and weekends?
We are expecting to receive a footfall of 35,000 on weekdays and 50,000 on weekends.
Q. What is the total built up area of the mall and what is your GLA (gross leasable area)?
The total built-up area of the mall is 6 lakh sq.ft., while the GLA is 4.5 lakh.
Q. Did you consult any mall-management firm for deciding on your retail mix and retail zoning?
No, retail zoning has been done by our in-house team. We have paid special attention to the retail zoning, convenience, and high visibility. Superior tenant mix featuring some of the best national and international brands in clothing, lifestyle, fashion, food, and entertainment has also been incorporated by us. The mall’s first floor is for men, second for women and kids, while the third floor is dedicated for FnB players. Avani’s ground floor will have a mix of all brands and the basement will house hypermarkets.
Q. What is the revenue format for the mall: profit-sharing or fixed rent?
We will be operating on both the rental models. With vanilla retailers, we have revenue share model, and with anchor stores, we have fixed rentals because we signed up our anchors 3-4 years back when the revenue share model was not that popular.
Q. Many malls in Kolkata must be vying for the same set of brands. What are your retail propositions to distinguish yourself from others?
We have large floor space of more than 1 lakh sq.ft. for each store. Not only that, our mall is the first green mall. We also provide an indoor and outdoor banquet service. Our food court spreads over 50,000 sq.ft. and we have used advance BMI for Avani Riverside.
Q. What is the present scenario of the domestic retail real estate market?
I think it is coming back to action again. Brands are expanding and they are approaching us. Retailers and mall developers all are excited about the growth of retail industry in India.
Q. Going forward, what other retail projects can we expect from the group?
We are planning to open four to five new malls in and around Kolkata in the future.