Malls losing brands to high street

Malls are loosing brands to high street. Retailers grappling with issues of viability, visibility and branding are now quitting malls. Recent months have seen a gradual, but noticeable exodus of brands from malls to single-format stores on high street.

This trend has added to the stagnant spaces in new malls, which have already been finding it difficult to get initial bookings from retailers. According to a report by global real-estate solutions firm Cushman & Wakefield (C&W), the mall vacancy rate in urban India touched a high of 16% by the end of 2008.

The survey was carried out across eight major cities—NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune. The report attributes the vacancy levels to inconsistent mall supply and revival of the high street as the most sort after retail destination. The highest level of vacancy in malls was witnessed in Delhi and Pune, with vacancy levels of 24% and 15%, respectively.

“There is a gradual but noticeable exodus from malls to single-format stores on high street. Today, retailers seek viability in stores and give lesser importance to stores for branding purposes,” says JLLM (Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj) MD (retail) Shubhranshu Pani.

“The retailers are preferring the high street because of higher visibility, independent access and the greater comfort level as compared to the malls,” Cushman & Wakefield retail services director Rajneesh Mahajan adds.