Streets like Bond Street in London, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills and Fifth Avenue in New York have a plethora or luxury designer shops available on just one street. This concept of a street just for luxury shopping is unknown to India and is usually only confined to malls like Emporio.
Mumbai although does have many high-end luxury designer stores like Hermès and Christian Louboutin in the Kala Ghoda/ Horniman Circle area. Upscale, Indian designer stores like Gaurav Gupta and Sabyasachi that are elaborately and well designed have been opened in this area as well.
Before the establishments of these luxury malls, luxury shops had no other option but to set up their stores in the best five-star hotels in the major cities to provide the right ambience for these shoppers. Deepika Gehani who is the Creative Director of Genesis Luxury points out that Hotels were typically high on business traveller traffic as opposed to consumer traffic. This is reason for many of these luxury stores opening in posh malls like DLF Emporio in New Delhi, Palladium Mall in Mumbai, UB City in Bangalore and the recently opened Quest mall in Kolkata. Luxury retailers found that the footfalls and returns per square feet are considerably higher in these malls as opposed to luxury hotels.
Malls are now India’s answer to high street shopping due to the consumer traffic it attracts as well as the luxurious ambience and deco it provides. Other reasons for why luxury shopping in India is tough for the consumer is that the right environment and the long commute it can take to just one mall in these large cities pose as problems. Another factor that contributes to the lack of a suitable luxury shopping experience on high streets is that Indian weather is not always conducive for this kind of street shopping. Due to this, it’s hard to find a location that is just right for this kind of high-end retail.
Co- founder of Le Mill, Cecilia Morelli Parikh believes that one of the reasons that luxury high streets will not work in India currently is also because of the high rental prices and poor roads and this is the reason why online shopping might beat physical retail shopping in India. She believes that with no viable street shots, busy consumers might just turn to online portals.
Digital luxury shopping is definitely on the rise as people prefer easy and quick shopping, where they don’t have to waste time in their cars or reach stores to find out that they don’t have the products or sizes they want. Thus the future definitely lies with multi- channel retailing where designers have physical flagship stores for customers to engage and experience with their labels but they are also partnering with online stores that allow them to give customers an easier medium of reach.
Source: CPP Luxury