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RETAIL THERAPY

Times of India - Times Property - page 01 - 1 March, 2012

With new malls springing up, Pune's retail landscape has seen a rapid transformation in recent times... Pune has come a long way in recent times. The thriving IT market, automobile boom, strong student community, rising service sector, robust real estate market and increase in the number of professionals have led to a sharp expansion of the city. This rapid urbanisation, and the new demands of Pune's global citizens, has led to a rise in the number of malls, offering high-end brands. The retail sector in Pune was earlier confined to a few markets which were unorganised, chaotic and crowded. In the last two years, however, the rise in modern retail outlets can be seen across the city. Koregaon Park Plaza, Inorbit, Phoenix Market City, Pulse, Kumar Pacific Mall and Amanora Town Center are the new ones that have joined the already existing malls like Jewel Square, S.G.S Mall, Mariplex, Central and Ishanya, to name a few. In a scenario where five malls have opened in the last one year, Rohit Gera, Vice-President, CREDAI - Pune Metro, opines: "Malls in Pune were long overdue. Pune as a market has been under-served from a mall perspective. We never really had a mall in the city that would take care of retail needs. Malls are a oneplace stop for people of all demographics. Retail spaces are no longer confined only to shopping activities but are now considered as a complete family time where kids have a dedicated play area, women get to shop while their men can indulge in recreational activities or pamper themselves at the spa and the family can enjoy a movie together. Malls today provide a wholesome entertainment experience." He adds that it is sheer co-incidence that almost all the malls have opened up at the same time. As of now, malls are concentrated mainly in the eastern region, especially Viman Nagar, Koregaon Park-Kalyani Nagar and the Camp belt. Observers feel that with the majority of the migrant population settling in the eastern part as well as two major townships Magarpatta City and Amanora Park Town in the area, there is a high demand for shopping destinations here. "Abroad, there is a town planning department that restricts the cluttering of one place and maintains an even balance throughoutthe town. The practice is not prevalent in our country hence we see all the malls coming up at one same region," says Manish Jain. Though good infrastructure and an upmarket profile of Koregaon Park, Kalyani Nagar and the surrounding areas also explain the sudden surge in malls in eastern corridor, developers feels that in coming years it is the western corridor that will assert its need for malls and better retail outlets. Gera adds, "It's only a matter of time that Western corridor will see a boom in retail space as well." QUICK BYTE PUNEKARS ARE DISCOVERING THE PLEASURES OF SHOPPING DESTINATIONS, WHICH OFFER A RANGE OF OPTIONS FOR A COMPLETE FAMILY EXPERIENCE

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