India’s retail market has transformed enormously from ‘Haat’ and ‘Weekly Bazaars’ to the posh, sophisticated high street and is mushrooming well across the Indian subcontinent. This has led to foreign brands such as H&M, Burger King, Apple, Michael Kors and many others enter the Indian market with future expansion plans. High streets have become dark horses for many areas, whether it is Connaught Place (CP) in Delhi or the Mahatma Gandhi (MG) Road in Pune.
Engines of growth
Changing lifestyle, elevating urbanisation, and allowing 100 per cent FDI in retail, among others, are the key factors leading to the growth of high street in India. Increased investor interest for the segment has also been a reason for this. With diminishing open spaces in the city, high streets are increasingly treated as a place to meet, greet and have fun with friends and family. As per a CBRE report, more than 60 per cent of restaurants in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai and Bengaluru are located in high-street markets. Considering the demand, developers are offering a wide range of high streets to the customers. Location of high streets is one of the main factors that decide their success. Good visibility and access via roads are some of the main prerequisites for a high street. Zoning of it comes the next.
High streets are considered to be better than malls as they yield better rental returns. This is the reason why retailers are investing in high streets. Customers choose high streets over malls as the former is both time and cost effective. In malls, customers usually waste time and money in parking their vehicles, which is almost double on weekends. Also, the brand experience along with the store experience can be better tapped in high streets.
There is a strong demand for high streets in the metropolitan cities and tier I and II cities also. Ghaziabad in NCR, for instance, has become a hub of high street retail with many developers having their projects there. This growing demand is due to good connectivity and excellent infrastructure of the region. Besides the metro rail network, the Eastern Peripheral Expressway connects the area well with highways.
The future of this luxury retail is bright in India. The retail sector in India is expected to clock a healthy growth rate of 12%. This could touch $1 trillion by 2020 with high street contributing a major part towrads it. Technology will play an instrumental role in reshaping the segment and further improving the conditions of high streets in India.