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Chennai, NFAPost: Despite the onslaught of the e-commerce business across the country, malls are still serious business. According to ANAROCK’s latest retail report ‘TCCx: Redefining the Future of Retail Malls’ released at the CII North Retail Conclave on Friday in Delhi, the sector is riding high on the phenomenal rise of consumerism and renewed interest by institutional investors.

Amidst this rising new mall supply, developers are gradually on-boarding various new-age technologies. The report stresses on the need for mall developers to imbibe PropTech in the leasing of mall spaces for a potentially faster, more insightful transaction process. PropTech cannot be limited to use in mall designing and operations alone.

“Of the 65 mn sq. ft. of new mall supply hitting the Indian market by 2022-end, nearly two-thirds (40 million sq ft) will deploy by 2020-end itself-and not just in the metros. This new supply is also driven by the increasing interest of institutional investors – including PE players – who invested almost $1.9 billion into Indian retail between 2015 and Q1 2019,” ANAROCK Retail MD and CEO Anuj Kejriwal said.

He added that over 60% of this investment corpus was infused in the last two years alone, making these the best years for the retail sector in recent times. “Notwithstanding the decline in deal activity in the second half of 2018 following the NBFC-induced liquidity crisis, the retail segment attracted investments of almost $115 million in just the first quarter of 2019,” he added.

The report also maintains that REITs can be a viable tool for mall developers to raise funds, but this fund-raising instrument still needs to mature sufficiently.

The report also examines how PropTech has disrupted the retail sector in India – specifically in mall designing or creating avenues for enhancing customer experience. From basic AutoCAD drawings, architects and designers have moved to software such as ‘Revit’ and ‘Archi Cad’ to enhance overall mall designs to ensure a superior customer experience. Architects and designers use these tools to visualise and plan the placement of stores within the mall to increase visibility.

However, PropTech must find implementation in mall leasing, as well, stated the report.

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