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Pacific India: Developing next-gen transit retail destinations

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The world of transit retail is thriving. Just like airports, metro stations are becoming new transit retail destinations. As roadways begin to get clogged due to congestion of vehicular traffic, mostly cars, a larger section of middle-income families is shifting to public transportation which is not only  more comfortable but also help save on time and money. There is a vast potential for growth of transit malls along the existing routes of public transportation systems as also along corridors that are in the pipeline.

Pacific India: Developing next-gen transit retail destinations

Salaried professionals, middle-income families as well as next-gen individuals are generally stressed for time in a rapidly moving world. This class prefers to travel by public transportation, and also constitutes the typical mall visitor, always finding it far more convenient to shop in a mall  located on a transit destination than in one located at any other place in the city.

These reasons are enough to catch the attention of discerning mall developers and plan out a retail format that can be replicated across the country. One  such developer who is leaving no stone unturned to tap the immense potential of travel retail is Pacific India.

Decoding

The group, which operates 3 shopping malls in India, has recently opened their fourth shopping mall – D21 – at Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station.

The newly operational shopping mall is not only the first organised retail mall of the sub-city but also first of its kind development within a metro station with a hypermarket, lifestyle and fashion stores, along  with food and entertainment options.

D21 also presents the residents of Asia’s largest sub-city with  their first multiplex, Big Bazaar and HomeCentre. With this unique offering, Pacific India is slated to end woos of over 1  million residents, who commute to distant places for their weekend as well as daily needs such as movies, shopping, etc.

With nearly 100 percent occupancy in fashion, food and lifestyle and multiplex and entertainment options scheduled to commence in a month’s time, D21 is expecting a turnover of over `450 crore in the very first year of its operation. The mall also has a multi-level car parking and promises to provide an unparalleled customer experience.

The multi-storey mall is the fastest delivered mall project yet as it was completed in just 19 months from the date of taking over from DMRC. The mall is strategically located within the vicinity of Dwarka Sector 21 Metro station catering to Blue Line as well as Airport Express line which brings in day to day metro commuters, residents of Dwarka as well as airline passengers and airport staff. It is also well-connected through Dwarka-Gurgaon link road. This Pacific masterpiece is quite tactically designed with all anchor stores laid on single floor plate making it more customer-friendly, convenience of in-store navigation and browsing. The customer has end-to-end visibility in D21.

Speaking about the launch, , Executive Director, said, “I feel very excited as D21 was a highly anticipated project and today it has become a reality.  Being one of the most sought after locations of Delhi-NCR, Dwarka truly deserved a world-class mall and it is a matter of pride for us to bring the first organised multi-level mall to Asia’s largest sub-city. The mall is going to give a best-in-class experience to the people and is  going to set a new benchmark, of this we are sure.”

“Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station is one of the busiest metro stations in the National Capital Region. It is the terminal metro station of the Blue Line which is directly connected to both Noida and Ghaziabad. The  line is also known for passing through the best retail shopping destinations of North India including Connaught Place (Rajiv Chowk Metro Station), Karol Bagh and Noida Sector 18. In addition, Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station is also directly connected to the Airport Express Line and is only one stop away from Indira Gandhi International Airport.

After our new retail mall began its operations at this location, the circuit is now the ‘retail shopping circuit’ of Delhi metro. The  sector 21 station witnesses huge footfall every single day for the fact that the township is one of the fastest growing cities across the country. It is one of the most densely populated areas of Delhi given the presence of the sheer  number of high-rise apartments.However, existing commercial and retail infrastructure is far short of meeting the needs of the population. Our new transit retail mall will help fulfill the shortage  of retail segments including food and beverages, entertainment,gaming zones and food courts in Dwarka,” he adds.

The first organised retail of Dwarka (Delhi) with 100 plus brands spread over the area of 3 lakh sq. ft.

Upcoming Projects

Pacific had bagged another project from the DMRC wherein it is developing a 2.5 lakh sq. ft. shopping mall and a multi-level car parking with a capacity of 600 cars at Netaji Subhash Place Metro Station.

“The mall will be spread across 5 floors and will have the best of national and international brands along with an international level food court. It will also have a 1,700-seater, 9-screen multiplex from Cinepolis,” asserts Bansal.

Pacific NIT, Faridabad – Pacific NIT, Faridabad, the sixth Shopping Centre from the kitty of Pacific Group, is being developed in collaboration with the Haryana State Transport Corporation.

According to Bansal, this 3.50  lakh sq. ft. mall will cater to theentire city of Faridabad, Haryana having a population of over 2 million. The mall being built with some of the best facilities will be a welcome change for the city  shoppers to come and shop for their most loved national and international brands available in the country today and looking  to enter the country in the next couple of years.”

“A large hypermarket, a departmental anchor, fashion anchors, family entertainment centre, restaurants and a large food court called ‘SALT’ will be  some of the attractions of the mall,” he adds.

It will also provide a world class experience of watching movies to the cinema goers with an 8-screen, 800-seater multiplex by PVR.

Why Travel Retail Destinations?

Travel retail naturally attracts more customers. In an age in which families of middle-and high income individuals and those of salaried middle-class  professionals are hard pressed for time because of their busy work schedules, travel retail provides an opportunity to club travelling with shopping.

“An executive travelling to his work place daily on the metro train will find it much more convenient to pick up food and groceries, for instance, on the way back home than reaching home and changing into a fresh pair of  clothes to make another trip to the market,” Bansal states.

“Statistically, outlets of popular brands, be it coffee shops or eateries, which are operating from metro stations have been witnessing much greater footfall than their stores located in other parts of the national capital region. Similarly, stores located within airports also attract more customers than those located outside. The biggest advantage of travel retail over other locations is the luxury availed by the customer in saving up on time.

Travel retail also helps customers saving up on parking fees if  shopping is done to coincide with end or beginning of commuting hours,” he adds.

Design Strategy

As compared to a conventional mall located in any part of a city, a transit retail destination is always located in very close proximity to a public transportation system. The mall is located in the same building as that of the platforms of the public transportation system where commuters can board and de-board trains, pods, buses, etc. “D21, located on the ground, first and second floors of Dwarka Sector 21 Metro Station will allow visitors unhindered access to the shopping or dining arena after they disembark from public transportation system. Apart from commuters, the transit mall is also open to conventional customers who visit it without the need whatsoever to use the public transportation system. Entrance gateways for these two different categories of consumers are separate from each other. Separate parking arrangements are also present for conventional customers and those who shop and commute at the same time,” says Bansal.

Operational Challenges

A mall at a transit location offers considerable challenges to the developer on terms of parking and traffic management as also in terms of security.

“Transit locations like for example terminal metro stations, where our mall in Dwarka is located, is mostly clogged with vehicular traffic owing to milling around of thousands of commuters who travel by the public transport system every day. The rush is exacerbated by unruly auto-rickshaws and battery-operated rickshaws. It is a challenge for the developer to ensure mall visitors are not hassled by the messy traffic which can be a factor discouraging footfalls. It is also  a challenge for the developer to ensure proper parking of vehicles belonging to mall visitors in this environment,” explains Bansal.

“Maintaining security of parked  vehicles is a task topmost at the mind of the mall management.Internal security is properly managed too because commuters from all backgrounds of society can access the mall with ease owing to its connectivity with the metro. Besides, peak travelling hours witness high footfalls and congestion of visitors in the mall. The mall management  takes special measures to ensure internal security in these hours as also to regulate crowd in a proper manner to allow hassle-free  shopping or dining,” he concludes.