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Jalandhar: Preparing to pump up the volume

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Jalandhar, the historic town in the state of Punjab, offers all the ingredients for a spectacular growth in modern retailing — high income, a large visiting NRI population, a business community with high disposable income, brand and quality consciousness. The promise has been enhanced even further due to the scheduled opening of two to three malls in the city in two years’ time, including Emaar-MGF promoted The Mall of Jalandhar, which is planned to open in December 2009.

Until today retail in Jalandhar has been still more of a high street story. Ansal Plaza, the sole operational mall in the city, started its journey in 2007-08 and has given space to several brands including Arvind Brands, Barista, Catmoss, Cotton County, Koutons, Allen Cooper and Arvind Megamart. With five stores (four Koutons and one Charlie Outlaw) including the one at Ansal Plaza mall, Koutons has been operational in the city since 2003. Having recognised its potential as a very promising city, the brand is now planning to open four additional Charlie Outlaw stores later this year.

However, the city still does not have any of the national multiplex chains. While Pramod Arora, group president, PVR Cinemas states that as of now there in no plan to open a multiplex in the city, Tushar Dhingra, COO, Big Cinemas says that the company is all set to open its first theatre in Emaar-MGF mall in December this year. “We see a good per capita income as well as disposable income in Jalandhar. So opening a multiplex in Jalandhar obviously makes sense,” he says.

"The net income of the population has been rising at a much higher rate in Jalandhar, around 30 per cent faster than places in Rajasthan and Gujarat." — Arif Sheikh, Ansal API

Retail experience

Balvinder Singh Ahluwalia, president, Koutons Retail India Ltd says that the population of Jalandhar is always a welcome aspect for retail. “People in Jalandhar always look for quality garments and they look for brands as well,” he states.

Echoing this, Vishal Kapoor, head, Marketing, Barista said that the chain operates two stores in the city. However, according to him, the city is not as attractive as Chandigarh, which is more cosmopolitan in nature. “While Jalandhar is populated with textile and production related industries, Chandigarh is occupied with educational institutes and corporate houses. Therefore, instead of white collar professionals one finds more blue collar professionals in the city,” he informs.

Jalandhar at a glance

Primary trade area:
Sampanna Zone: The zone comprises businessmen, shop owners, land owners, retired army officers and self-employed professionals. Model Town, New Jawahar Nagar, GTB Nagar, Defence Colony, Urban Estate and Cantonment Area fall in this zone where 82 per cent of the residents are in the middle to higher income groups.
Samanya Zone: Government employees, servicemen, small retailers and traders belong to this zone. New Model House, Harbans Nagar, Arya Nagar, Preet Nagar, Joginder Nagar and Central Town fall in this zone where 64 per cent residents are middle to high income groups.
Sangarshi Zone: Comprises mostly class IV employees. Sundar Nagar and Focal Point Industrial Area fall in this zone where 15 per cent residents belong to middle and upper middle income groups.

Secondary trade area:
Travel Zone: Commuters along NH 1
Nearby NRI villages: Chareru, Mayani, Dhilwan Marh and Ladowali.
Key towns: Nakodar, Kapurthala, Nawashaher, Moga, Phillaur and Phagwara

Retail prospects

Discussing the retail prospect in Jalandhar, Arif Sheikh, COO, Retail and Shopping Malls, Ansal API Group says that the city has all the demographic elements in favour of malls and modern shopping centres. “The net income of the population has been rising at a much higher rate in Jalandhar, around 30 per cent faster than places in Rajasthan and Gujarat. Besides, Jalandhar is a city with a significant NRI population. They are exposed to the latest fashions but are price conscious as well,” Sheikh elaborates. But he further adds that Jalandhar is one of the best growing retail markets in North India and the catchment influence bodes well for the mall.

Looking forward

The retail in the city will witness a sea change in December this year when the five-lakh-square-feet The Mall of Jalandhar opens its gates for a host of national and international brands. Strategically located on Nakodar Road, near Guru Ravidas Chowk, this Emaar-MGF project has three anchor spaces, besides a food court, speciality restaurants and several national and international brands. For anchor space, the group has signed up Max Lifestyle, Shoppers Stop and entertainment major Big Cinemas, which will open a four-screen multiplex in the mall. A company official informed that they promise to offer a world class shopping experience to the people in The Mall of Jalandhar.

Sharing his thought about the retail prospect in the city, Ahluwalia at Koutons concludes, “Jalandhar is a highly competitive market. With the coming up of malls, the city will witness the expansion of the brands much faster.”

Sarimul Islam Choudhury

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