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    Shop at Metro station before flying


    The city’s getting ready for more retail therapy. The concessionaire for the Delhi Airport Metro link, Reliance Infrastructure, is planning to launch a shopping hub at two of its stations – New Delhi Railway Station and the Shivaji Stadium station. Set to come up by October this year, the retail hubs will offer a complete experience, say R-Infra officials, from shopping to dining.

    Said a R-Infra spokesperson, “Internal studies have shown that utilizing the station space as a retail destination can be a major source of revenue. We’ve got a terrific response from the market so far, and hope to launch these retail outlets in a big way.” With ridership on the Airport link ranging between 12,000-13,000 commuters per day, R-Infra is hoping that it won’t just be tapping into Metro passengers as prospective shoppers.

    “Both retail hubs will be packaged differently. While the New Delhi Railway Station will cater mostly to travelers, including backpacking foreign tourists, the Shivaji Stadium station will be more of a high-end shopping destination,” the spokesperson added.

    What both stations will have in common is a food court, and the presence of food chains such as , , Café Oz, Pizzocherry, Tibchi among others. WH Smith stores will also be available, as well as a mini Dilli Haat at the New Delhi station. In fact, the latter will also have a shower/lounge area for commuters who are staying in the city for only a day and haven’t checked into a hotel. Stores offering pharmacy products, national and international apparel brands, as well as ATM services by Standard Chartered and have already tied up, said the R-Infra spokesperson. “Around 120 outlets will be set up at both stations,” he added.

    Interestingly, the stores will be set up in the non-paid area, a decision taken so as to allow walk-ins who may not use the metro services. The shops will be available on the ground, mezzanine and concourse areas, all in the non-paid sections. Moreover, the stores will be open during the service hours of the Airport link, which is open between 5am-11pm. Sources said that plans were also afoot to make the shopping hub available 24/7. Officials however, say that at present, the service hours are going to remain the same.

    The shopping hubs, when ready, will provide an alternative to the shopping experience provided by the Delhi Airport currently. With R-Infra planning to increase the early check-in facility further from the existing six hours, the idea is to tap into the shopping experience that commuters may want as they wait for a connecting metro to the airport or railway station.

    This is besides the customers that R-Infra are hoping will flock to the metro to indulge in a round of retail therapy, and who may not be metro commuters.

    Source – Times of India