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India sees rise in 'Ghost malls' as customers prefer online shopping; Bengaluru ranks third

India has seen a rise in ghost malls, notably in Bengaluru, Delhi, and Mumbai, as per Knight Frank India's 'Think India Think Retail 2024' report. The trend reflects changing consumer preferences towards online shopping, leading to unused retail spaces in malls. Tier 1 cities host 64 ghost malls, while Lucknow tops Tier 2 cities with significant unutilized areas.

India sees rise in 'Ghost malls' as customers prefer online shopping; Bengaluru ranks third vkp
First Published May 9, 2024, 3:50 PM IST

In recent years, India has witnessed a significant surge in the phenomenon of ghost malls, with Bengaluru emerging as the third-most affected city, according to a recent report by Knight Frank India. These 'ghost malls' are essentially shopping centres characterized by large amounts of unused space and dwindling foot traffic, often attributed to the growing preference for online shopping over traditional retail experiences.

The report, titled 'Think India Think Retail 2024', conducted a comprehensive survey across 29 cities, shedding light on the alarming trend. Ghost malls, also known as dead malls, have become a growing concern, causing substantial financial losses amounting to crores of rupees.

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Delhi, the national capital, taking the lead in this unsettling trend, with the highest number of ghost shopping centres identified. According to Knight Frank's findings, Delhi boasts a staggering 5.3 million square feet of unused retail space, marking a 58% year-on-year increase. Mumbai follows closely behind, with 2.1 million square feet of unutilized area, experiencing an 86% surge in ghost shopping centres.

Bengaluru, meanwhile, ranks third on the list, with 2.0 million square feet of vacant retail space. The city has witnessed a notable 46% increase in the volume of ghost shopping centres, reflecting the nationwide shift towards online shopping habits.

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The rise of ghost malls has been particularly pronounced in Tier 1 cities, with 64 such shopping centres identified by 2023. Lucknow, a Tier 2 city, takes the spotlight for hosting the highest ghost shopping centre, boasting a whopping 5.7 million square feet of unused area. Jaipur, another Tier 2 city, follows suit with 2.1 million square feet of unutilized retail space.

The underlying reason behind this surge in ghost malls lies in changing consumer behaviours, with more people opting for the convenience of online shopping over traditional retail experiences. As a result, malls are witnessing declining footfalls and struggling to maintain their relevance in the digital age.

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