PRM Marketcity a marketplace model designed to suit the needs of people residing in Tier III towns across Eastern India. It is an opportunity for brands across the country to access millions of untapped customers who are still not exposed to such lifestyle centres. It addresses the emerging lifestyle of people living in semi-urban areas by providing the right mix of shopping, food and entertainment.
PRM BEGRAJ Group plans to open seven such Marketcity by 2021. The group is one of the leading Real Estate Developers in the North East India. It recently launched Erestwhile Sunflower Mall in Siliguri as India’s Largest FBB store. Built over 3 levels, the store has a total area of 40000 sq.ft. Umang Mittal, Executive Director (PRM Begraj Group) & Founder (PRM Marketcity) talks about the expansion plans of the brand in Tier III cities and towns.
From a developer point of view, how do you choose a location for expansion in Tier III cities?
Before entering any new city, we spend a considerable amount of time understanding the existing shopping patterns and city hotspots. We always target to remain as close as possible to the heart of the city. This helps us in achieving very high occupancy rates since retailer and investor confidence remains very high. A good location also prevents future competition. However, ample parking space is a challenge in these prime locations.
How different is the retail catchment in these cities in comparison to Tier I and metro cities?
The geographical segmentation is limited in smaller cities as travel time from one corner to the other does not exceed 30 minutes on average. It results in the entire city becoming the catchment unlike Metros which cater to different locations via multiple retail centres. The cities beyond the vicinity of metros also draw significant floating crowd from nearby towns helping boost mall footfall and revenues. People in smaller cities have greater aspirational value which reflects huge potential as far as consumption is concerned.
Do you have separate marketing strategies for different cities?
Yes, we do have separate marketing strategies for different cities. Every city responds differently to a particular strategy hence we always customise our strategies according to our study of the catchment.
What attracts more crowds in Tier III cities – the lure of shopping or the FEC segment?
There has been a significant evolution in this aspect when it comes to smaller cities. Until a few years ago, the top priority of customers used to be new and aspirational brands which the city had never seen before. Brands like Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, Forever 21, H&M used to be the key footfall drivers in the mall. As online businesses emerged and the city profi le grew, the priorities have evolved to FEC as families started to visit mall for a complete family experience rather than just shopping. All our upcoming centres have significant space for FECs.