The scene of Pune in terms of organized retail started changing past 2006. Many national and international apparel and cosmetic brands who were on display only in selected metros like delhi , Mumbai and Bangalore started hitting to Pune ,identifying it as the model city of urban india.
Pune has got highest number of students and techies compared to any other cities in India. Students generally migrate for higher education like engineering, MBA and GRE preparations and to seek admissions in MBA colleges after they finish their graduation. The techies generally migrate for IT jobs in Pune and the world is aware about Pune’s tech savvy image. Both ( Migrated Grad / Post Grad students and techies ) are either from affluent families or earn good salaries.
In this age of 20-30 yrs the ambition, aspiration and and inclination towards glamour, movies and fashion is much. So, they spend it almost every month once or twice and to grab what’s cool and trendy in fashion and help retail to grow in the city. The Pune population has reached to fig. of 65lacs ( approx ) and the youth content is almost 35% , so generally all the brands who wish to launch any of their products in this 20-30 yrs category, does its TEST MARKETING in Pune only through road shows, market surveys , internet surveys, sms campaigns and much more.
Initially it was only shoppers stop and piramyd who were offering national and international fashion brands in all the categories but still the shoppers in Pune were very conservative in shopping at these departmental stores considering it as a costly place to shop.
That was like trigger to the revolution when Pune Central came at Bund Garden Road, and moving on the fast lane Shoppers Stop -2 ( Nucleus Mall ) and Piramyd – 2 at ICC Towers and Piramyd -1 shifted to SGS Mall ( Previously Kakade Magnum Mall ) came up and many untouched and semi-conservative markets like kothrud, baner , aundh were started enjoying the locational advantage and driving convenience.
Now, many new shopping destinations have come and also local retailers have grown in terms of presence in more than one locations in Pune like Jaihind collection , VAMA and PN Gadgil Jewellers targeting those farthest corners of the Pune city which use to travel more than 30-40 kms for shopping or use to suppress their desires of buying and compromising by shopping with local retailers or shopping in Mumbai during their short trip.
TBZ ( Tribhuvandas Bhimji Zaveri), Amarsons have entered in Pune last year again understanding the need of the population for ethnic wears. Pune Central -2 ( University Road ) & Lifestyle Store ( Kalyani Nagar ) came up with some good international brands like Springfield , Bossini, Tommy , Calvin Klien , Amore , and much more. In the recent development Jewel Square is a comparatively more suitable and must check options for the shoppers who wish to buy international brands. The jewel square mall is located in koregaon park beside St. laurn hotel and Taj Blue Diamond, having emmense stuff to choose from like MANGO, TOMMY, ALDO Shoes, PROMOD, DIESEL, TED LAPIDAS, SISLEY, AMANTE, SHOE TREE and much more. Mont Blanc acquired high street position as an exclusive brand outlet opp. Ruby Hall Clinic on Dhole Patil Road.
Even at MG Road and Moledina Road, SGS mall plays a key role in attracting shoppers from across the city being at the central position in the city. It has The Body Shop, Guess , Marks & Spencers, Espirit and Damas.
Frequently seen brands like nike, adidas, reebok, provogue , levis, lee, Benetton, van huesen , Louis Phillipe are scattered in pune across all the malls and high streets and shopping malls.
The trend is, if people in Pune wish to buy ethnic / traditional wears, the charm of Laxmi Road is still there and will remain the same and it has got huge variety in shops and merchandise to choose from with different level of service to each customer. Still the new developments like Amarsons people should really check.
We always think that international brands are always very unaffordable, but looking at our pocket strength we can buy them cheap at Brand Factory ( Shivaji Market , Camp )and Mega Mart ( Dapodi and smaller formats spread across the city )also who offer same merchandise but one season ( 6 months ) old and really without any defect.
In the future development, the malls will not mean only shopping of apparels, it will be package of complete day spent. The culture of Town center is started mushrooming in city. The town center concept means a complete bouquet of retail offerings including apparels in all categories, food of all kinds ( food court ), home furnishings, movies , gaming zone, business hotel / service apartment, multi level parking , detailed mix of local, national and international brands. Such retail mixes enhance the buying intentions and also make each and every customer to try and experience something new in every visit. The town centers very easily can take out 5-6 hours on a weekly off / holiday from every family.
The town centers generally are of huge size ( 10 Lacs sqft – 20 lacs sqft ) and almost 3-4 such massive town centers will be operational in Pune by 2012. Market City ( 1.4 Million sqft ( apprx ) Phoenix Mills ) on nagar road, Market city at Amanora Town ship ( 1 Million Sqft ) , Magarpatta City Mall ( 2.2 Million Sqft ) in Magarpatta City , hadapsar. Kharadi Plaza ( 1 Million Sqft By Plaza Centers ), Inorbit Mall on Nagar Road, G – Corp Mall on Nagar Road. The scheduled opening of all these town centers was 2010 , but recession and real estate slow down pushed them till 2012.
Pune customers will becoming day by day more smarter and choosy while shopping about what to buy, when to buy and from where to buy once all these developments will be operational. Along with this many malls are coming , on the municipal development papers , we have more than 25 shopping malls lined up in Pune to open by 2012 ,offering different brand and experience mix , as more or less all the customers are done enough with regularly seen national brands across all the shopping malls and high streets.
Now the era has changed, customers want new brands with different designs, to offer that many local boutiques have come up. Taking a small space of 300 - 500 sqft on rent , newly NIFT / NIFD fashion graduates have started their boutiques around koregaon park and deccan ( ex. Iris in KP, sade in KP, Neo at Deccan ). Many fashion design institutes have also come up to target especially metro female candidates for such courses, and fashion events like Pune Fashion Week will surely add pace to this growing buds.
Everybody is trying offer maximum from their platter to the GOD i.e. customer, who is very fickle minded and experimenting.
Survival of the fittest would be the answer to a very usual and regular question “ How will so many malls will survive ? ” Pune has seen the death of Piramyd and Indiabulls Megastore, which is a true example of running stores without understanding the trend and effective supply chain management.
Mall owners also has to understand that a mall is not only a mere construction site,but it’s a pool of services to be offered and upgraded on continuous basis. Mall owners should learn a lesson from above mentioned examples and most successful malls like Inorbit in Mumbai. That a big brand can be developed out of a Shopping Mall and their role doesnt end just by completing the construction of the mall.
Lots of research on consumer behavior, Mall Management , Shopping mall advertising, brand mix and mall zoning is required, for which customer psyche has to be understood first.
Long live , Pune Retail.
CEO & Director
Retail Guru Asia