National | The Indian retail market has evolved from Weekly Bazaars’ to the sophisticated high street. As a result, multinational brands have begun to enter the Indian market to expand in the future.

Changing lifestyles, increasing urbanization, and allowing 100 percent FDI in retail, among other things, are driving the rise of India’s high street. The rise has also been attributed to increased investor interest in the region. With fewer open spaces in the city, high streets are increasingly being used as a meeting point for friends and family to meet, greet, and have fun.

Mr. Sagar Saxena, Project head, Spectrum Metro

According to a CBRE report, high-street marketplaces are home to more than 60% of eateries in Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, and Bengaluru. Due to the increased demand, developers are providing customers with a diverse selection of high streets. “One of the most important criteria that determine high street’s success is the location. High visibility and road access are two of the most critical requirements for a high street,” says Sagar Saxena, Project Head, Spectrum Metro.

High streets are preferred over malls because they provide better rental returns, so retailers are putting money into high streets. Mall rentals contain add-ons like Common Area Maintenance fees, parking fees, and other fees, making food a pricey proposition. “There are various touchpoints in malls such as elevators, parking, and other shared areas. However, single entry shops on high streets allow retailers to take an independent call on hygienic protocols such as hand sanitization, temperature checks, and visitor registration while at the same time limiting the touchpoints,” says Sagar Saxena.

Mall decision-making frequently necessitates the collaboration of multiple retailers to implement any policy; this can lead to a lengthy decision-making process. “Strata ownership on high streets allows for one-on-one relationships between owners and tenants, which facilitates negotiations and allows for quicker decisions,” adds Sagar.

Customers prefer high streets to malls because the former saves them time and money. Consumers are no longer looking for the movie-shopping-dining-out experience, preferring instead to shop at retail outlets for their essential purchases. High streets enable this option smoothly. In addition, in high streets, the brand experience, and the store experience, can be better tapped. “The demand for high streets is good in Tier I and II cities. The NCR’s Noida and Ghaziabad have become a high-street retail hotspot, with many developers constructing projects there. The rising demand is due to the region’s excellent connectivity and infrastructure. The Eastern Peripheral Expressway, in addition to the metro rail network, connects the areas to major highways,” says Saxena.