Shopping centres at metro stations are a good proposition

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Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) has planned to offer retail space in its upcoming metro stations in Gurgaon.

Confirming the development to Indiaretailing, DMRC’s chief public relations officer Anuj Dayal said, “The Sushant Lok Metro Station, which will be on an elevated line, will have three-and-a-half floors above the station and another three floors below it, including the basement. These extra floors will be converted into shopping centres.” However, Dayal declined to name the expected retail outlets as talks are at a nascent stage.

Discussing plans, Dayal informed that after the Sushant Lok station, DMRC plans to open similar shopping centres at Garden Estate, Sikandarpur, DT City Centre and IFFCO Chowk stations. “These stations are part of the same line and we plan to offer retail space there,” said Dayal.

On the real estate prices, Dayal said, “Though we have not finalised anything on the retail rentals, they will be in sync with contemporary market trends.”

Some renowned restaurant and coffee chains are already operational at metro stations and claim these to be a profitable proposition.

Vikram Bakshi, managing director, McDonald’s, told Indiaretailing: “When we opened the first McDonald’s at the metro station, which is at Kashmiri Gate near ISBT, we had a clear vision in mind that even if, initially, we do not get good walk-ins, the restaurant will do good when the passengers/travellers rate goes up. At present, the restaurant is doing good business. There are two outlets – one inside and another outside the station. The one inside the station pulls in the metro passengers, while the outside one has people coming in from ISBT as well.”

Talking about the company’s other outlet at Inderlok metro station, Bakshi said though it is yet to see good footfalls because of the ongoing construction, it is bound to do better in future.

Asked if DMRC shares details of the passenger traffic, Bakshi said, “DMRC is quite open in this case and shares the desired information.”

Nirula’s is another chain of restaurants with an outlet at Kashmiri Gate metro station.

Sudipta Sen Gupta, VP, marketing & sales, Nirula’s, confirmed that the company’s outlet at Kashmiri Gate is doing good business and gets expected walk-ins. She said: “Retailing at the metro station is a good proposition, the outlets there get fine walk-ins. As the metro has made commuting easy for customers, some of our outlets that are near the stations have also registered better growth. In fact, the rail has been instrumental in introducing Nirula’s to many new customers.”

Asked about the rentals, she explaned, “Parsvanth Developers, through a tender, has taken control of Kashmiri Gate station from DMRC. We are tenants of the developer. Also, we have requested DMRC to consider Nirula’s for two more sites.”

Nirula’s has also tied up with Citibank, who provides DMRC with a smart card to offer special schemes to cardholders.

“The new members are eligible for one-plus-one ice cream at Nirula’s, and keep getting freebies regularly on purchases,” said Gupta.

A spokesperson of Café Coffee Day also confirmed that their outlets at metro station are doing food business, and that the company is looking forward to the new shopping centres at upcoming metro stations.

The Delhi government’s official site says that the planning for the metro in Delhi had started in the 1950s. Numerous studies were conducted for studying the feasibility of a rail-based mass transit system. Development of commercial property within and around the stations is part of its feasibility strategy. All stations are proposed to have ATMs, food outlets, coffee shops, and newspaper vendors, while some areas will be leased out for development of supermarkets, commercial establishments and office buildings, which would act as additional revenue source.

– By Ranjan Kaplish and Satrajit Sen

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