Sanjay Rawat
Some feel improved logistics, warehousing for e-tailing can help physical retail too
e-commerce
Spare A Thought For The Foodcourt
Can burgeoning e-retail stifle malls? Unlikely, say experts.
COMMENTS PRINT
e-commerce
Brace up for an online war. The goldmine that is e-commerce is also a political landmine.
Arindam Mukherjee
Interview
The co-founder & CEO of Flipkart, took questions from Outlook
Outlook
Interview
Hours after Amazon’s $2 bn investment announcement, VP & country head, Amazon India, spoke to Outlook
Outlook
Opinion
A short history of e-tail: from Rediff’s earliest attempts to now
Ajit Balakrishnan

Are shopping malls—air-conditioned picnic spots and window-shopping havens of today—drifting toward oblivion tomorrow? In the aftermath of last week’s multi-billion dollar investments in India’s e-tailing market, the question has  again raised its head. In most developed countries, 10-12 per cent of retail sales are said to take place online. This trend has affected sales in malls there (in parts of the US, abandoned malls dot the landscape).

India will add six million feet of mall space in 2014, the real estate consulting firm Jones Lange LaSalle predicted late in June, putting that doubt to rest. “Seven years ago, we talked about the demise of kirana retail, and then some predicted the end of shopping malls too after the economic slowdown. But all are doing well,” says Harminder Sahni, MD, Wazir, a retail consultancy in Gurgaon.

Besides, as Jones Lang LaSalle’s Shubh­ran­gshu Pani says, India’s mall culture has taken deep roots. “Yet, we’re getting sta­rted on mall development. Malls are yet to reach tier-III towns, where people have yet to get a taste of it,” he says. E-tailing, experts say, is a matter of convenience—but people would still go to a mall for a pair of jeans or for a camera. “Is any customer going to reject malls altogether? No. Is anyone going to rej­ect online altogether? Again, no,” Sahni says.

“It’s far-fetched to say that what hasn’t hap­pened in far more developed markets will happen in India,” says Pani. The imp­rove­me­nts in logistics and warehousing will help phy­sical retail grow more efficient as well, he says. While that may be so in a varied market like India, it’s evident that in certain categories—like electronic and books—online sales have been growing dramatically. Malls will have to adapt to these changes. Of course, the air-conditioning and food courts help!

COMMENTS PRINT
e-commerce
Brace up for an online war. The goldmine that is e-commerce is also a political landmine.
Arindam Mukherjee
Interview
The co-founder & CEO of Flipkart, took questions from Outlook
Outlook
Interview
Hours after Amazon’s $2 bn investment announcement, VP & country head, Amazon India, spoke to Outlook
Outlook
Opinion
A short history of e-tail: from Rediff’s earliest attempts to now
Ajit Balakrishnan

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