News Roads

Leisure travel may pave the road for realtors to open malls on highways, ET Infra


Infrastructure upgrade and an increase in leisure travel may become a big growth driver for highway retail, prompting developers to build malls on highways, according to experts.

Brands such as Tata Croma, Starbucks, Uniqlo, Hippo Stores and Mothercare have either opened or are in the process of opening stores on highways.

“With an uptick in demand for global brands, more retailers with an international pedigree are expected to venture towards highway retail,” said Rahul Arora, head of office leasing advisory and retail services-India at JLL.

Among the developers, Mumbai-based Bhumi World has planned a 500,000 sq ft mall on the Mumbai-Nashik highway while Bhumika Group of Delhi has developed a mall on the highway in Udaipur and is constructing another 350,000 sq ft of retail space near the existing one.

Chandigarh-based Dhillon Group is developing a 1.5 million sq ft retail space on the Chandigarh highway while Arete Group, a business conglomerate based in Gujarat, is expanding a retail project on the Surat-Mumbai highway.

“While our main catchment is the city crowd, being on the Delhi-Mumbai highway helps in attracting the moving crowd as well. The way road infra is improving, we will see newer retail destinations in future,” said Uddhav Poddar, MD of Bhumika Group.

Jayeshh Dedhiya of Bhumi World said several big brands have shown interest in their upcoming retail space in Udaipur.

“We have already tied up with brands like Adidas, Skechers and McDonald’s, and more brand signing is underway as retailers are looking for bigger space,” said Dedhiya.

Experts said with the government promoting electric vehicles, many EV charging stations along highways are slated to be set up as part of the overall EV charging infrastructure in the country. Support retail comprising QSRs and convenience stores are expected to come up at these EV stations.

“Highway infrastructure shall boost the retail sector largely as wayside amenities will be the new pit stop for the large customer base, as the highway travel sees a multi-fold growth. These highway-side amenities will offer much more than just a refuel stop,” said Susil S Dungarwal, founder of Beyond Squarefeet, a shopping mall specialist company.

Destination malls are quite common globally, according to experts.

  • Published On Oct 4, 2023 at 07:51 AM IST

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