Kolkata amongst all the other metros in India continues to be one of the not so rapid growing ones still has a thriving retail culture. Several industries in IT, ITes, BPO and services have established their headquarters in Kolkata bringing in several migrants from North East India, Bangladesh and other neighbouring states. This has led to a boom in construction activity as well as an increasing demand for shops, malls and other entertainment places leading to a surge in retailing and franchising activity.
New neighbourhoods have come up in Kolkata such as New Town and many others on the outskirts of the city, property rates have risen in Kolkata as well as the suburban Howrah by 20 to 35% in the last three years. Are you a retailer or a franchisor that is yet to be present in the Cultural Capital of India and are keen to know about the best malls to be in, read on.
1. Quest Mall: This is one of the newest mall that has come up in Kolkata. Quest Mall (previously known as Spencers Galleria) is our favourite mall in Kolkata, India. Located in Park Circus, this mall was inaugurated on September 2013, With a shopping area of 730,000 sq ft (68,000 m2) and parking for 1,300 vehicles, Quest Mall is the second largest shopping mall in Kolkata. It is also the first luxury mall of Kolkata and also the whole of East India and the largest of its kind in India.
Quest Mall accommodates 130 outlets of many of luxury brands in the world, including Breitling, Burberry, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Fendi, Coach, Canali, Emporio Armani, Armani Jeans, Estee Lauder, Furla, Gucci, L'Occitane, Michael Kors, Omega, Paul Smith, Rolex. The shopping mall has the top of the line Digital Public Address system supplied by Bose Corporation. The entire shopping mall is covered by 217 nos Bose Loudspeakers beside the solution for Food Court
Quest Mall houses a six-screen multiplex INOX and the biggest apparel store in the city, LifeStyle with a total area of 100,000 sq ft. The mall is also home of Inox Insignia, an upmarket and plush theatre that serves an exclusive movie experience, top of the line of gourmet food as well as luxurious recliner seats.
The mall is also home of several other mid market brands as well, the food court has affordable offerings as well as upscale restaurants such as Chilis and Yauatcha, a Michelin Star restaurant. Au Bon Pain, Bombay Brasserie, Smoke House Deli, Masala Kitchen, Q33, KFC, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf are also present.
2. South City Mall: We visited the South City Mall on a weekday evening and the mall was extremely busy. The food court as well as the stores were full of avid shoppers / diners. Its catchment area are the middle class suburbs of Jodhpur Park, Lake Gardens, Dhakuria and Golf Green. The mall is one of the first ones in Kolkata probably after City Centre, opening in 2008.
Anchored by major stores like Pantaloons, Spencer's Retail and Shoppers Stop, there are also 134 other franchise and retail stores, a food court on the top floor and a INOX multiplex. South City Mall ranked #1 after Quest Mall opened up.
3. City Centre 1, Salt Lake City: City Centre has been one of the first integrated retail projects in Kolkata. City Centre is quite spread out and is not centrally air conditioned and hence it is inconvenient to locate certain stores, the stores are not zoned either. Despite it being easy to be lost in the place, it continues to attract shoppers in large numbers.
Their food court is quite difficult to locate and is present in one of the corners, the food court does not have any major brands other than a few local ones.
4. Forum Mall: Located in the Bhawanipore area, this mall was conceived as a office complex but then was later converted into a mall. This led to a dramatic transformation of the quiet residential neighbourhood to an upmarket one. The small boutique mall was completely leased out, prompting the developers to extend the mall in 2010 calling it Forum Courtyard
The Courtyard elevated the experience of Forum, altogether, with an assortment of renowned International brands housed within 30+ quality retail spaces, aimed particularly at a rich & fashion designate clientele. It also ended the Parking woos of Forum by adding 5 levels of Parking slots to a total of 450+ cars. Currently, the sleek & cozy Forum twins enjoy more than 90% occupancy rate.
5. Mani Square and City Centre 2: Mani Square Mall opened up in 2008, located at EM Bypass, the mall took quite some time to pick up. It wasn't a popular destination, until the nearby housing projects started getting occupied drawing footfalls from catchment areas at Salt Lake, Kankurgachi & VIP Road areas.
Mani Square offers 4.1 lakh sq ft GLA, provides five floors of pure shopping pleasure alongside fine dining restaurants, spa, nightclub, business centre, banquet hall and exhibition area, topped by three floors of office rentals. The mall anchors include a 30,000 sq ft Westside, 60,000 sq ft Spencer’s hyper, a 7,000 sq ft Macdonald’s and 4 screen Cinemax multiplex. It also houses entertainment zones ‘Amoeba’ and ‘Scary House’ along with 140+ retail outlets of top brands, a 650 cover ‘Food Court’, several specialty restaurants and fine dining options.
City Centre New Town is an upcoming mall present at Rajarhat, closer to the airport, the new residential complexes that have come up ensures that any mall present in this neighbourhood gets good footfalls, the mall suffers from the same shortcoming as the previous ones, where part of it is air conditioned and the rest of it is out in the open, apart from a food court with several local brands.
Newtown neighbourhood has several residential buildings as well as hotels in the vicinity allowing for a constant flow of customers that are looking forward to grab a meal, watch a movie or catch up with friends. Its catchment area comprises of the upcoming upper middle class New Town and Rajarhat area.