NCR is witnessing a retail boom not only in the retail business but also in the retail real estate sector.<br>The question is: will the mall boom be sustainable?
TODAY, the word mall translates into a large, friendly and entertaining retailing area that attracts the consumer and makes him return for more. It, therefore, comes as no surprise that mall developers are using this format in extending their retailing projects business by developing a number of malls involving high design elements.
Developers at NCR are well-aware of the fact that mall development is a serious and rewarding business. Even though it requires a large sum of money and involves high risk, developers are no longer thinking about short-term benefits, but are also looking at high end returns recovered from multiple malls, mall management and multiplex chains.
NCR will have 50 malls with retail space of more than 220 lakh sq.ft by 2007. In a frenzied bid to cash in on the ‘great Indian retail boom’, developers are building huge shopping spaces. According to sources, NCR has about 20 malls which are set to become operational by 2006. DLF itself has developed 12 malls in an area of 72 lakh sq.ft with one to the tune of 40 lakh sq.ft proposed to be the biggest mall in the world. Almost all the developers are opting for multi malls within an area of more than one lakh sq.ft. This area is sufficient for retailers to be attracted to lease outlets in more than one mall in the same city.
Mall boom: Sustainable or not
Industry sources observe that there will be an over supply of retail space in the NCR. However, this over-supply will differ from location to location. Real estate developers and retailers are very positive of the current trend of mall development. While Delhi will have the demand to match the supply of malls in the near future, Noida is likely to attain an equilibrium in the demand and supply owing to its catchment area of eastern Delhi. The demand, perhaps, will be more than the supply in parts of western and northern Delhi.
Gurgaon will certainly be loaded with a supply much more than the demand. At present, Gurgaon has three malls and around 20 are in the pipeline. Hence, the rentals are bound to see a downtrend. More than 60 lakh sq.ft of retail space will be thrown open in the NCR region.
Retail property market
The year 2000 was a landmark year for real estate development in the NCR as developers like DLF seized the retailing opportunity and developed shopping malls to meet the requirements of a new age retailing. The initial shopping mall projects were a huge success. This led to a spurt in similar projects of various sizes, coming up in the NCR thereby proudly a boost to organised retailing in India. According to sources, the present 37 lakh sq.ft of mall space will increase to around 232 lakh sq.ft by 2007 end.
Top players NCR
One of India''s leading social infrastructure development conglomerates, Aerens RJ Group is engaged in value-added real estate projects in the fields of edutainment, entertainment, specialty malls, corporate trading and financial services. Mr Ashish Gupta, director, Aerens Gold Souk International Ltd, which plans to build 100 gold souks in India, says, “The role of a developer is not just in constructing a building, but also in taking care of all the facilities.” The Aerens Group in a larger context comprises various strategic business entities having a pan India presence. It has emerge