What’s behind India’s ‘ghost mall’ phenomenon? | In Focus podcast

Knight Frank India reports a $798 million loss due to 13.3 million sq. ft. of ghost shopping infrastructure in India. Gulam Zia, Senior Executive Director at Knight Frank, shares insights, observations, and key findings of the report.

Published - May 14, 2024 06:20 pm IST

India is seeing a sharp increase in the number of ghost shopping malls, according to a new report from real estate consultancy, Knight Frank India. The report, titled ‘Think India Think Retail 2024’, found that in 2023, there was 13.3 million square feet of ‘ghost shopping infrastructure’ across 29 cities, causing a loss of $798 million.

By definition, a ghost shopping mall is one where the vacancy rate of retail space is above 40%. If we counted only the eight Tier 1 cities, the pan-India vacancy rate across all categories of malls stood at 15.7%. Also, while Tier 1 cities had 271 shopping malls in 2022, the number came down to 263 (77% of total shopping centres) in 2023.

So, what is the reason behind this phenomenon of ghost shopping malls and high vacancy rates? Is it because offline shopping is giving way to online shopping? Is it due to weakening consumer demand? Or are there other industry-specific dynamics at play?

Guest:  Gulam Zia, Senior Executive Director at Knight Frank India.

Host: G. Sampath, Social Affairs Editor, The Hindu. 

Edited by Jude Francis Weston

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