Shoppers' paradise Linking Road fast losing its shops

Shoppers' paradise Linking Road fast losing its shops


The Mecca for shoppers – Bandra’s Linking Road – seems to be losing its sheen where retail shops are concerned. Many a commercial establishment has moved out of this busy shopper’s paradise in the queen of the suburbs.

This finding has been reported by realty research firm, Cushman & Wakefield in its latest survey. The overall rentals on Linking Road have witnessed a dip of 12 per cent in the January to March 2013 quarter as compared to the corresponding period for 2012, says the report. With outlets moving out, availability of space has gone up, triggering a decline in rentals.

On the national scenario, only one mall in Chennai became operational over the last quarter. Space vacancy in malls across the country inched up marginally by 1 per cent.

The retail outlets includes not only those several fancy stores lining the busy street but also the wayside stalls that dot Linking Road. The once-prominent retail market road has become less attractive for shoppers, states the report. One major reason that shops are being forced to move out is that shoppers like you prefer to hop into a mall to shop.

That Linking Road also grapples with infrastructure issues – a narrow road besides lack of parking space is keeping shoppers away, adds the report. The comfort of shopping in the cool confines of a mall, rather than having to pant and puff from store to store, is also luring shoppers to high-end markets.

“Consequently, many retailers are not finding much value in having their presence in this particular location, the report notes, adding that micro establishments – or tiny shops – are doing their bit to edge retail shops out of the vicinity.

Jaideep Wahi, director at retail agency, Cushman & Wakefield India, said that Linking Road has been one of the most expensive high-street retail destinations in India. “Linking Road has been a key benchmark for demand for retail space. However, it has seen a sudden increase in available space due to exit of retailers,” said Wahi. Another realty expert said that overall, the retail market is in trouble. “In future too, it will struggle with cut-throat competition from malls,” said this expert.