Mall construction to make a comeback despite pandemic challenges
Malls suffered significant financial challenges during the pandemic but mall construction in cities including Mumbai, Noida, and Bengaluru is beginning again, albeit at a slower pace than before Covid-19.
As mall construction gradually gets going again following lockdowns and other Covid-19 regulations, around 4.5 million square feet of new mall space has been added in 2021, according to data from real estate consulting business Anarock Property Consultants, accessed by Livemint.
Further mall construction is expected in Mumbai, Noida, and Bengaluru this year but, despite the new construction, the amount of square footage added this year will be notably lower then the 8.5 million square feet of mall space added to India’s seven largest cities in 2019, according to Anarock.
Although tier 1 cities will see the majority of mall growth, tier 2 cities Amravati and Lucknow will each gain two new malls each. This reflects the growing demand for branded fashion and lifestyle goods in non-metro locations.
Of the metros, Bengaluru will gain two new malls and 1.22 million square feet and Mumbai will gain 1.1 million square feet of new space across three malls. Mumbai was one of the areas most affected by the pandemic and, as the threat of a potential third wave continues to loom, construction firms are remaining cautious.
Mall construction in 2020 was at a 75% lower capacity than in 2019, according to Anarock. National and local lockdowns halted construction work for months and mall closures continued for far longer. The pandemic also led to a great increase in online shopping as many shoppers chose to stay safe at home even as retail opened up again. However, as vaccination levels continue to rise, malls are expected to see continued growth over the coming months.
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