Saturday, August 1, 2009

Of malls and recession...

The Mall BangkapiImage via WikipediaMost of us in India have gotten used to shopping malls by now. The mall phenomenon kicked off quite late in this country, the first full fledged malls becoming popular only by 1999-2000.

The thing about malls is that you get everything under one roof, and you have the proper ambience to do so. Now whenever you visit a mall, you see hundreds of people taking a nice cat walk around the showrooms. And some daring to enter a few.

Okay, so here's the thing. How many of them are "actual buyers"? In other words, how many of them are NOT window shoppers? The answer and I'm sure you'll agree with me here, very few.

Malls these days have turned out to be some cool place to hang around with friends (not that I'm complaining). But I seriously wonder what the showroom owners have to say about this issue. I mean seriously, how many people do you see leaving a mall with bag full of goodies?

This is a report by MSN India back in July, 2008: Retails quit Mumbai malls over low sales

Now of course, the recent recession hasnt helped for sure. Footfall in malls have dropped significantly over the past few months. More links here:

Again, access is a huge issue. How many malls cater to the masses? Most malls are located in the poshest areas of a city and there's absolutely very little what I'd call penetration into the deeper areas of the country. Here's a report from The Telegraph about Book Stores in Kolkata: The city is set for a bookstore boom, but are there enough takers?

Also, there's an interesting report, again in The Telegraph, which talks about footfalls increasing only in times of mega bonanza and offers like that. Understandable I guess. Here's the link to that report: Retailers struggle to foot mall bill as footfalls drop and sales dip

Well, the thing is until the recession has passed I dont think the situation will improve. But malls are here to stay thats for sure.

1 comment:

  1. These days the progress and development of the cities are miscalculated as the number of malls sprouting up in every locality. The prices of the real estate are determined by its distance from the nearest mall. As byproduct, there are traffic jams! There are hours of load sheddings in the neighborhood while the malls remain bright and cold with lights and air conditioners! And there are long lines of water at nearby chawl while the mall floors and glasses are washed everyday!