Goa’s retail industry is abuzz with new mall at Porvorim and more in future. Mall shopping is here to stay, finds out Shoma Patnaik
A favorite past time of many Goans who travel to cities and urban towns is catching up with latest shopping at the mall. Inorbit in Mumbai, Forum in Bangalore, Central Mall in Hyderabad, Pheonix Mall, Pune, are some of the mega names in malls, in neighboring states and Goans it turns out are pretty familiar with them. They are sure to drop into these monster shopping places whenever visiting and spend a pretty packet on purchases. Clothes, shoes, luxury accessories are some of the stuff they buy and jewelry is in the bag too although there are plenty of gold shops back at home.
In India the mall business is in prime with monster ones coming up in metros. But in Goa malls are an emerging sector. Goa’s only mall at present is Caculo Mall at Panjim constructed in 2011. It is a small one though extremely successful. However the Mall De Goa coming up at satellite city Porvorim is going to be contemporary and large with the right retail mix as seen in cities. Big players of retail, Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar, Mark & Spencer, Max have taken up space in it along with Inox multiplex. The mall spread over an area of 1,80,000 sq mtr promises to be big bang one with independent outlets of major brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klien, Benetton, US Polo in it.
The upcoming mall at Porvorim, promoted by Jai Bhuvan Builders is on the heels of slew of supermarkets and department stores set up over the last one and half years. Moreover it is not the only mall in the vicinity as another is coming up at Vasco in August 2016. The Vasco mall ‘Pehli’ is by Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, based promoters who are doing the interior work in full swing. In future there could be more malls in the fray as local business houses eye the potential of the sector.
According to industry experts, Goa’s retail industry in the past was essentially made up of small shops and stores. The emergence of a major mall in the fray indicates that the industry is matured. The state’s ample number of wealthy and sizeable population of comfortably off middle class residents means that propensity to consume is robust. In the past Goans used to shop outside but with entrepreneurs waking up to the potential of retail spending at home it is natural that malls come into the picture.
Experts point out that talk of malls for shop happy Goans existed for many years but never fructified. At one time a DLF mall at Patto Complex, Panaji seemed almost certain but promoters gave up the idea abruptly.
The fact, that an up-to-date mall with several retail brands is due shortly when competition from ecommerce is hot points to the coming of age of Goa’s retail industry, say experts. Ground level check reveals that the Caculo Mall envisages no threat from new players. The market is expanding and Goa’s growth story in retail continues to be extremely exciting, say sources in Caculo.
The Goa market is compact but residents buying capacity is good, says Akhil Chada, partner, Fashid, the promoting company of yet to come ‘Pehli’ mall. Our market research shows that Goans shop copiously and at least once in a fortnight, he says. Customers in and around Vasco, who previously travelled to Panjim or Margo for shopping, are ripe for a mall in nearby vicinity, says Chada. He expects shoppers from MPT, Goa Shipyard, Navy, nearby Verna industrial estate to be regular clientele in his forthcoming mall.
Ground level check reveals that Goans are pretty keyed up by malls due to variety of reasons. For Porvorim residents it means they are sitting on costly real estate as prices have boomed in the locality. Industry is buoyed because malls mean higher consumption and growth in the economy while youth are happy at a hang-out place where they can chill out with friends. Then there is a segment which is excited at the thought of employment. Malls need large number of service staff and outside the Mall De Goa every day is a small clutch of job seekers. Retailer Big Bazaar is hiring and has put up job notices. In future employment in Porvorim is expected to soar and restaurants in the area are thrilled at the fact.
The news of malls coming up in Goa is significant because in other states they have gone through several stages of growth. Rampant construction of malls in Mumbai, Delhi and other metros means that several are struggling for customers. Not all of them are doing well. There is oversupply in some places with vast number of empty spaces in several malls and outlets closing down. India’s growth story in retail continues to be happening but clearly some have miscalculated on the prospects. The economy slowing down seems to have dampened mall earnings considerably.
However despite these ups and downs the mall industry is on growth. Current number of malls in India is estimated at 470 numbers which is expected to soar to 720 by 2017.