“The market of Jaipur is growing faster and will be in tune in development and commercialisation to that of the metros in the near future,” states Girish Pande, COO, E-City Property Management & Services Pvt. Ltd. (EPMS), which manages the operations of the recently opened Triton Mega Mall in Jaipur developed by Suncity Projects Ltd.
Jaipur, more popularly referred to as the Pink City of India, has a population of more than five million residents. It is a major business centre of Rajasthan with all the requisites of a metropolitan city that includes planned development, transport facilities, profiles and high income levels of the residents. “Jaipur is an upcoming city which is at the cusp of modernisation. The lifestyle of the residents is changing and they are increasingly becoming brand conscious. As of now we have two stores in the city,” says Shital Mehta, chief operating officer, Van Heusen.
Besides, Cantabil, the apparel retailer that has four stores in the city is now planning to open its fifth family store. “We mostly count Jaipur as a famous tourist point for our business. But, lifestyles of the people here are also changing and they becoming more brand conscious,” comments Vijay Bansal, MD, Cantabil Retail India Pvt. Ltd.
“We are present in City Pulse, Crystal Palm and Triton mall in Jaipur. We are attracted by the customer profiles from the upper middle class & premium customers for our stores,” informs Archana Tiku at Oswal Woollen Mills Ltd.
The city was built following the principles of Shilpa Shastra — traditional Indian architecture — and is also one of the first planned cities of India to reflect aesthetics of royalty. The landscape of Jaipur is divided into several urban quarters and is networked by gridded streets.
In the city, the modern infrastructural facilities are developing fast, and in many cases surpass those of larger cities and even the metros. The Jaipur International Airport, the National Highway 8 (NH 8) that links Delhi to Mumbai, and the 366-km NH 11 (which links Bikaner to Agra, via Jaipur), and Indian Railways have made Jaipur a well-connected city.
In recent years, Jaipur has become one of the emerging global outsourcing cities for MNCs in India. Real estate business, including retail real estate development, has also been flourishing well in the past three to four years.
Jaipur has been known as a shoppers’ paradise for its traditional handicraft, jewellery and rich textiles. In traditional markets, the prominent joints are Jauhari Bazar, Bapu Bazar, Nehru Bazar, Chaura Rasta, Tripolia Bazar and M.I. Road.
The retail renaissance
The city is showing a soaring graph of modern retail and shopping centre development. “Footfalls in Triton have increased by more than 50 per cent both on weekdays and weekends in the past two months; they are now an average of 8,000-plus per day on weekdays and as much as 20,000 per day on weekends,” informs Pande at EPMS.
“The city is big and prosperous, but still awaits a properly designed, integrated and spacious modern shopping mall. We promise to bring all the major brand retailers to the city soon.” — Joanna deSouza, president, Future Capital Real Estate
Besides, Triton Mega Mall, the other operational malls in Jaipur are Crystal Palm, Crystal Court, Crystal Mall, Mall 21 and Apex Mall.
Mahima Group, in an effort to bring world class lifestyles to the citizens of Jaipur, is the developer of three of these properties — Crystal Palm, Crystal Court, and Crystal Mall — that house a host of retail brands.
Crystal Palm, a Rs 30-crore project with a total built up area of 2,25,000 square feet, commenced operations in May 2007. One of the most ‘happening’ malls in the city, it houses a three-screen Inox multiplex, multiple kiosks placed across the mall and one complete floor dedicated for entertainment, speciality restaurants, coffee shops and children’s amusement. The mall’s key retail tenants include Adidas, Allen Cooper, Wrangler, Monte Carlo, The Mobile Store, Cantabil, Catmoss, McDonald’s, Costa Coffee, iStore, Archies, Blackberrys, M&B Footwear, Pizza Hut, and Sahib Sindh Sultan.
Crystal Court, a Rs 20 crore project with a total built up area of 3,10,000 square feet in Malviya Nagar, started operations in February 2006. The Crystal Mall is a Rs 16 crore project with a total built up area of 1,02,200 square feet located at Bani Park, the thriving commercial heart of the city. This property began operations in August 2003.
Triton Mega mall, located near Bani Park, features a total built up area of 4,50,000 square feet, and is spread over four floors. It contains 25,000 feet of a centrally air conditioned atrium (with all shops facing the atrium) and a hi-tech virtual gaming zone, apart from a food court and a four-screen multiplex. Anchor tenants include HyperCity, Shoppers Stop, Globus, Liberty and Fun Cinemas. Among the vanilla tenants prominent retail brands are Allen Solly, Levi’s, Tommy, Playlife, United Colors of Benetton, Van Heusen, Wills Lifestyle, Puma, Reebok, Peter England and Jumbo Electronics making a bouquet of more than 20 lifestyle showrooms for elite customers of Jaipur. “We opened the mall barely six months ago; already, the customer response is tremendous as according to us, it is the first big format and modern mall of Jaipur, in the true sense,” proclaims Pande. “The customer response in our store in Triton has been good. This is in spite of the fact that the mall still has very few outlets. There is an upcoming food court in the mall which, we hope would lead to an increase of the footfalls,” adds Mehta at Van Heusen.
The two other malls in operation — Apex Mall on Tonk Road and Mall 21 located at Bhagwan Das Road — house approximately 211 and 100 retail brands respectively.
Positioning itself slowly as a lucrative stop for retail real estate development, Jaipur will soon see a host of new malls — the Trinity Mall by Mahima Group, Jewel of India by Suncity Projects Ltd., City Square by S.G. Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd., Man Upasana Plaza at Sardar Patel Marg by Man Upasana Group, Kshitij Mall by Future Capital Real Estate and World Trade Park by R. F. Properties & Trading Limited.
Betting on the city’s promise, Joanna deSouza, president, Future Capital Real Estate (FCRE) says, “The city is big and prosperous, but still awaits a properly designed, integrated and spacious modern shopping mall. We promise to bring all the major brand retailers to the city soon.” The upcoming Kshitij Mall by FCRE is to commence operation in the second quarter of 2010 with a retail space of 3,30,000 square feet.
But retailers are also eyeing the potential areas of the high streets of Jaipur as lucrative destinations. “For location strategy, we look into the area, footfall and customer behaviour. Despite charging higher rents, the malls are not ensuring more than 500 customers on weekdays, in comparison to around 750 in the high street stores. Therefore, our focus is more in opening stores outside the malls in the city,” states Bansal at Cantabil. On the other hand Van Heusen is eyeing to greater footfalls in the stores in malls. “The challenge is two fold, one is to increase the footfalls in our stores, and the second is to increase the average bill value and basket size of the buyers,” states Mehta at Van Heusen.
Gauging this scenario, mall developers and operators are now re-strategising to attract more customers. Pande at EPMS says, “Our forthcoming food court in Triton will be the biggest in Jaipur with 12,000 square feet of area, which is expected to be operational by the 10th of this month. We assume this will double the footfalls in the mall. Our gaming zone — Viking is also getting popular.”
Last but not the least, the World Trade Park by R. F. Properties & Trading Limited is also under construction at Malviya Nagar in the city. The property will have a luxury hotel, business halls, a five-screen multiplex, an underwater restaurant and a number of international brands as retailers.