Back to the office: brands move into transit centers to take advantage of suburban commerce

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According to experts, transit hubs such as subway stations, high-speed rail corridors, train stations, airports and areas around them are becoming preferred store locations for retail brands. and restaurants that want to target daily commuters.

Rail operators in Delhi Metro, UP and Chennai have leased space to retail brands, while many airports have planned shopping destinations inspired by Delhi’s Aerocity.

Delhi, which has one of the largest metro rail networks in the world, derives much of its revenue from retail rentals. In the National Capital Region, Gurgaon’s HUDA City Center Metro Station is home to Decathlon and H&M stores among others, while Nike and Adidas have opened their outlets at Chattarpur Metro Station.

For retailers, subway stations are high-traffic, high-conversion areas and many athleisure brands want to open stores where daily footfall is over 50,000.

Lucknow Metro, which has a Dominos outlet, said more F&B brands were showing interest. Another athleisure brand is looking to open outlets in several subway stations and may make an announcement soon, people in the know have told ET.

The National Capital Region

(NCRTC), which is running India’s first Regional Rapid Transit System (RRTS) project between Delhi and Meerut, has planned to develop train stations as retail hubs, leveraging policy of Transit Oriented Development (TOD) of the governments of Delhi and Uttar Pradesh.

“By creating an area in and around the station as a shopping mall, we managed to attract crowds to the trains even on weekends,” said Vinay Kumar Singh, NCRTC’s chief executive. “The rest of the day, retailers are guaranteed to have visitors due to the large number of people who will be taking the train.”

According to real estate services firm CBRE, demographics will become an even more important measure of site selection and retention, as well as store type selection for retailers, especially with the easy availability of data and tools. analysis.

This growing importance of location is already becoming visible as demand for key sites has remained strong as the workforce begins to return to the office. “The footfall of retail and F&B brands is directly impacted by their strategic location. This is one of the main reasons why major players in the segment prefer locations close to transit hubs and high-speed corridors, railway stations and airports,” said Vibhor Jain, Managing Director – North India of Cushman & Wakefield real estate services company. “The same goes for planned “aerocities”, which owe their success to the proximity of airports.

According to a recent study by CBRE, 19% of merchants want to open stores in transit hubs. However, while the majority still want to open flagship stores in the city centre, the number of retailers wanting to open stores in transit centers is on the rise.

Uttar Pradesh Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (UPMRC) also leases retail space at Lucknow and Kanpur metro stations. The company has leased approximately 40,000 square feet of space in metro stations in the Lucknow Metro Project and approximately 15,000 square feet in stations in the Kanpur Metro Priority Corridor.

Chennai Metro has also offered to lease over 200,000 square feet to outlets. While space inside airports has always been in demand, many cities are developing shopping areas near airports on Aerocity to Delhi lines.

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