Mumbai Retail Transforms: High streets outperform malls, experiential shopping reigns


Mumbai's retail landscape is experiencing a transformation, with a contrasting performance between high streets and malls. While high streets are seeing resurgence, malls, particularly smaller ones, are struggling.
This is due to several factors.
High street advantage: Mumbai's vibrant high streets offer a unique experience with a mix of established local shops and trendy boutiques. This caters to a growing consumer preference for convenience and a sense of community.
Mall woes: The city has witnessed a significant rise in ‘ghost malls’ – those with high vacancy rates. This is due to oversaturation in the market and an inability to compete with the convenience and variety offered by online shopping. The rise of online shopping has impacted footfall in smaller malls, particularly those lacking a strong brand mix. However, Grade A malls with a strong tenant mix and curated experiences are still performing well. Mumbaikars seem to favor the convenience and curated experience offered by high streets.
Mumbai's retail quirks
Mumbai's consumers exhibit distinct shopping behaviour. Shoppers are value-conscious, seeking good deals and discounts. However, there's a strong brand loyalty for established names, both domestic and international. A seamless blend of online research and physical store visits is becoming the norm.
The recent ‘Think India Think Retail 2024’ report by Knight Frank India reveals traditionally well-known high streets like Linking Road, Colaba Causeway, and Fashion Street are thriving. While the evolving high streets are Bandra Kurla Complex (BKC), Grant Road among others,
The report also indicates a growing share of organized retail that of malls and large chain stores compared to traditional mom-and-pop shops. They are growing steadily, driven by brand consistency, wider product range, and convenience. Well-established Grade A malls with a strong brand mix continue to thrive. However, high streets might still have a higher proportion of traditional stores due to their affordability.
Fashion reigns supreme
Fashion and apparel retail dominate Mumbai's retail space, both in malls and high streets. This is driven by a growing fashion-conscious population and a wide range of options catering to different budgets and styles. High streets often house smaller boutiques and local designers, while malls provide a platform for established national and international brands.
The report reveals Mumbai retail sector is in a flux. While the city embraces the convenience of online shopping, there's a renewed appreciation for the unique experience offered by high streets. Malls, on the other hand, need to adapt and offer a compelling reason for consumers to choose them over the digital alternative.

Author’s Posts