Monday, October 29, 2007

A New Mall. I Am a Mall Fall-guy!

A new mall opened just opposite Vashi Infotech Park where I work. There’s already another mall – Center One – right across towards the right. The new mall is named “Raghuleela” and the design that seemed odd from outside made sense when I visited it today. It has a huge atrium which is crowned by an inverted-funnel-shaped structure which is actually its glass ceiling (see picture). It could be glass or a composite of glass and plastic, but the view of the atrium made me catch my breath. It’s so huge! At least, that was my first reaction.

Then I visited Big Bazaar inside, which is actually BIG, and has a virtual bargain-basement array of goods on display. The prices are cheaper than I found at the other mall across the street, a good formal shirt for just Rs 399! It could also be an opening day discount, an incentive for the first-time shopper.

I am told that another mall is opening shortly in the same area, a part of the Inorbit Mall chain. So that would be three malls within a few hundred feet of each other. Guess, Vashi is going to boom in the coming few days. Already a lot of software companies have moved into the Infotech Park, and real estate prices have soared.

Now with so many malls opening will the smaller shops survive? Would the local kirana shop owned by the bania survive this onslaught of discounts? A question I would have to wait before answering.


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