PROPERTY PLUS

Mall culture alive and kicking in the city of Kozhikode

A string of new launches is in the pipeline in the city with many malls already dotting its landscape.

The commercial segment is witnessing a remarkable boom in Kozhikode with domestic and international players vying for space in the city once known for its thriving trade and commerce. The surge can be seen not just among well-known brands in the textile and jewellery industry but also among local business groups vying for their share of the pie in the urban market.

The opening of a multinational restaurant chain, KFC, at Mavoor junction a couple of months ago is a pointer to the flourishing business ventures in Kozhikode.

Property developers say that malls are silently revolutionising the shopping concept. Already, famed international brands have launched their retail outlets in various malls. The malls have been designed for shopping and recreation for the family, they say.

Time was when shoppers had to hop from one shop to another in search of their favourite brands. But now things have become easy as shopping of all goods can be done under a single roof.

“The city is shrinking and parking has become a problem. People have become more brand-conscious. Branded items are usually available in state-of-the-art malls,” R.A. Dileepkumar, manager of R.P. Mall on Mavoor Road, says.

The launch of Focus Mall, opposite the mofussil bus station, a few years ago had a good response from the public.

The 2.5-lakh-sq.ft mall with six floors and criss-cross escalators, a games arena, and a food court has attracted people from even neighbouring towns.

The newly opened R.P. Mall boasts world-class facilities. One of its features is an upcoming multiplex with six screens. Another is the food court having a multiplicity of cuisines from continental to Arabian dishes.

The multiplex have been conceived focussing on the high-income groups. Specialities include food courts and a play area for children within the cinema halls. “The multiplex will give shoppers a combination of an outing for film, shopping, and eating under an umbrella,” Mr. Dileepkumar says.

Certainly, the influence of non-resident Indians (NRI) and changing lifestyles have contributed to the booming mall culture.

Various goods

Biz Bazaar on Mavoor Road and Space Mall on Jaffer Khan Colony Road attract shoppers buying household items, textiles, and electronics goods. These markets cater to all classes of people.

The popularity of the malls has prompted others to announce plans to launch their own shops. The Joyalukkas jewellery group has decided to establish eight malls at a cost of Rs.1,000 crore. Named “Mall of Joy,” each of them will feature two anchor stores selling jewellery, silks, fashion and clothing accessories, and cosmetics, besides watch, footwear, eyewear and optical shops, beauty parlours, restaurants, and food courts and a play area for children.

The first in the chain of “Mall of Joy” will come up near the private bus stand on Mavoor Road in Kozhikode in March, Joy Alukkas, chairman of the group, says.

‘HiLITE' Builders has plans to open a ‘HiLITE' mall on the Thondayad- Ramanattukara bypass, which is going to witnesses big growth with two information technology parks becoming a reality. The Gokulam Group has also planned a mall, in addition to a convention centre, with parking space for 1,000 cars.

BIJU GOVIND

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