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Mar, 03 2017

Small Is The New Big

Leisure retail is a constantly growing category in India and becoming a great opportunity for investors who are ready to indulge in niche businesses

The leisure retail market, worth Rs 29,000 crore, enjoys a niche space in the overall retail pie. The category that includes gifts, music, books, stationery and toys is growing at a CAGR of 15-17 per cent and is expected to grow at the same pace in the coming years.

Talking about the growth, Anurag Poddar, director, Presto, says: “Specialty retail is a constantly growing category in India. We see many new concepts emerging everyday and due to the growing propensity to consume, these concepts are expected to witness a decent growth in the future.”

Echoing similar views, Rajat Tuli, co-founder, Hap­pily Unmarried, states: “The specialty retailers add the critical spice to complete the shopping experience. The category is rising and will certainly experience a double-digit success over the next decade.”

Low-risk Bet

Many players in this category are betting on the kiosk model, which is the least risky format with low invest­ment

Happily Unmar­ried, a firm that sells whacky gift products, decided to experiment with the kiosk model. “It is better to have a kiosk in a high foot­fall zone of a mall than a large store,” believes Tuli.

“In fact, mall de­velopers are taking special effort to create smaller size stores and kiosks to encourage new businesses,” he mentions. The advantage of running a kiosk is that in case it doesn’t work, the owner can pull out in a month, unlike a store which is leased for a fixed duration.

According to the experts, not just start-ups or specialty retailers but big-box retailers are choosing this convenient and cost-effective solution for expan­sion. However, they caution that too many kiosks in a mall can have a negative impact and can create disruption in terms of the footfalls and common area of the mall. Balancing factors need to be created between the mall developers, tenants and the kiosk owners to make the format win-win for all.

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