Friday, November 13, 2009
Anand Dutta, Head (Retail) Pune, Jones Lang LaSalle Meghraj
In Pune, retail transactions have picked up noticeably, following a marked upsurge in shopper sentiments and a generalized correction in retail real estate rentals. Properties are now more viable for retailers, and the current scenario is now considered far more amenable to their bottom lines than it was before. Moreover, an increasing number of retail landlords in Pune’s malls and on key high street locations have opened up to the minimum guarantee and revenue sharing models. The general stance now is that if a retailer is making money, landlords are willing to offer reductions on rentals if the retailer is willing to sharing his topline. As a result, a number of retailers in Pune are now once again looking at expansion. The number of retail space deals has gone up significantly after the Dussera-Diwali period, which many players agree was better this year than in the previous year. Retailers are understandably displaying a predilection for ready properties.
Interest has revived not only in malls but also on Pune’s more prominent high streets of MG Road, JM Road, Aundh’s Parihar Chowk and Kothrud’s Karve Road. The highest activity levels in terms of expansion are currently being witnessed among vanilla retailers in the apparel, accessories, hypermarkets and jewelry categories. As before, value retail rules the roost in a budget-conscious city like Pune. However, we are also seeing a surprisingly fast
revival in terms of premium brands, and transactions for retail spaces in advantageous
locations in malls and on high streets are picking up.
The latest addition to Pune’s high-value retail sphere is Jewel Square at Koregaon Park, next
to Hotel Blue Diamond. This is naturally a premium location with an excellent high-profile shopper catchment, though this exclusive shopping centre encompasses only about a lakh
square feet, the occupier profile over its four levels is remarkable. Jewel Square, which is now
almost 90% booked out, is defined by premium brands who are eager to take advantage of this unique location, which is accessible to the affluent crowd of Pune and also close to other important micro markets such as Vimannagar, Kalyaninagar, Camp - and, of course, Koregaon Park.
Significantly, high-end brands like Mango, Promod, Aldo, Charles & Keith and Tommy Hilfigher are entering Pune’s mall territory for the first time with this project, which launches on 21st November, 2009. Other premium brands at Jewel Square include La Senza, Esprit, Calvin Klein, Forever New, Da Milano, Nike, Apple I Store, After Shock, Hi Design, Ritu Kumar, Chemistry, BIBA, Jashn, Satya Paul, Tie Rack London, Reliance Time Out and BJN Hotels.
Earlier, these high-end brands were shying away from entering the city. The fact that this mall
has garnered such concentrated enthusiasm by premium brands will give a big boost to mall developers for their upcoming projects and open up potential for other high end retailers to look at Pune as a suitable market.
CURRENT PUNE RETAIL RENTALS:
• MG Road: 140 - 170
• JM Road: 160 - 200
• Aundh: 125 - 150
• Karve Road: 100 - 120