The retail landscape in Tier II & III cities is undergoing a change with retailers waking up to the untapped potential in these underserved markets. Local developers, encouraged by the interest shown by more and more retailers, are planning and developing large mixed-use developments starting with upgrading the retail infrastructure in these areas. Cases in point include the DB Mall in Bhopal, which is running successfully, and the upcoming Urban Square Mall in Udaipur.
In an exclusive chat with Shopping Centre News, Vivek Srivastava, MRICS, talks about his experience of planning and developing upcoming malls in state capitals like Bhopal and Dehradun and Tier II cities across Jallandhar, Udaipur, Kanpur.
From a mall developer perspective, how do you choose a location for expansion/ launch in Tier I, II & III cities?
The selection of the location is perhaps the most critical decision a developer takes in the entire lifecycle of the project. The location is chosen based on several parameters. A few key points must be kept in mind while selecting a location in Tier II & III cities:
To select a location, it is important to understand the city’s real estate development historically and an in depth understanding of the city’s future planned growth. The starting point to develop this understanding is a detailed analysis of the city’s master plan. The master plan helps to identify the city’s future growth corridor (the direction in which the city is likely to expand) and all planned residential and commercial destinations. The development of infrastructure to support the residential catchment and commercial districts is also detailed. In other words, it helps identify areas where you could potentially plan a shopping centre.
Informal feedback from key retailers is very insightful. Retailers have an indepth understanding of retail shopping centres, high street markets and retail destinations in the city. They can intuitively tell you if the location has the potential to be developed as a successful retail destination. Their feedback helps the developer plan a product mix, positioning and the size of the development at a proposed location.
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