The retail real estate business is not just about creating malls, it is about creating iconic social addresses and experiences. Most of the successful shopping centres across the world have one thing in common – they are iconic addresses. They are social destinations, lifestyle hubs, meeting points along with points on the map that define everything else in their neighbourhoods.
Resonating this thought, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Chandrababu Naidu is planning to create social spaces in the state in line with global trends and towards this, invited Chief Convenor of India Retail Forum, Amitabh Taneja to discuss the same.
“We want to take retail to new and greater heights. The idea is to create social spaces, with shopping hubs within them. We expect the entire retail fraternity at large to benefit from these social spaces,” said Amitabh Taneja.
India may have observed a tremendous rise in retail consumption but the consumer cannot be treated as just a shopaholic. Taking this idea forward are these social spaces, which will aim to provide lifestyle moments in unforgettable environments that mix the smartest of everything – products, brands, innovations, technology, services and experiences.
Chandrababu Naidu hopes that these social spaces will be intuitive enough to draw people in and help them explore new avenues – foodservice, shopping, and entertainment.
The Chief Minister is of the firm belief that the future is in retail, and his government is completely committed to the business of retail.
In January 2016, he unveiled a policy – touted as the first-ever retail policy by a state in India – that makes it easier for retailers to do business in his state. The state government signed pacts worth Rs.1,500 crore with Walmart India, Future Group, Arvind Lifestyle Brands Ltd and Spencer’s Retail.
The policy proposed single-desk clearance of business plans, allowing stores to stay open longer, making it easier for retailers to acquire land to build warehouses, simplifying labour laws and relaxing stocking limits for essential commodities, among others.
It is aimed at attracting investments worth Rs 5,000 crore and creating 20,000 additional jobs in the sector by 2020. The policy will be valid for five years.
Apart from this, Chandrababu Naidu is also planning to build India’s biggest convention centre in the upcoming state capital Amaravati with the help of Abu Dhabi-based NMC Healthcare and UAE Exchange Group.
The project, estimated to be built at a cost Rs 12,000 crore, will have a convention centre with a capacity to accommodate 10,000 people, an exhibition centre, a five-star hotel and an amusement park.