Located near Pandian Hotel, an old landmark in the temple city, Vishaal Mall will have Reliance Trends (along with Footprint) as its anchor store. The other retailers who have signed on for space include the Landmark group's value retail format Max, denim brands Lee and Wrangler and footwear brand Woodlands. Inox is the multiplex partner of the mall, and is likely to open in September . At 2 lakh sqft, it's much smaller than the 15 lakh sqft Express Avenue mall in Chennai (the retail space in EA is 9 lakh sqft) or the 4.5 lakh sqft space of Brookfields.The mall hopes to get footfalls not just from families in the city, but also the sizeable student population from nearby institutions like the American College and the Lady Doak College . "Madurai is a huge shopping destination for the southern districts . Through this mall, we wanted to open up the market to brands that would like to be part of this market, but have not been able to open yet," says R Ilankovan, chairman of Vishaal Promoters. "The youth of Madurai always
complain about having to travel to Chennai or Bangalore to experience a mall and multiplex. Now they can enjoy it in their own city."The traditional retail area of Madurai has mushroomed around the Meenakshi Temple, the tourist hub of the city. Over the years though, retail hubs have spread across the city in other residential areas ."Tier I and II cities form a significant part of our growth strategy, given the way the demographic in these markets has evolved. After Chennai and Coimbatore, Madurai is next
most important market in Tamil Nadu . Moving there was a natural choice," says Bijou Kurien, president-CEO (lifestyle), Reliance Retail. "Madurai is an important feeder market to places like Virudhnagar, Nagercoil and Tirunelveli."Vishaal Mall has set aside 10,000 sqft for a food court that will feature Marry Brown and Pizza Hut among others. There will also be 10,000 sqft for fine dining and another 10,000 sqft for gaming and entertainment. The mall, which already has 60% occupancy , currently features neither a departmental store nor a supermarket .Vishaal Promoters has invested Rs 60 crore in the project (including land cost).
Courtsey Times of India