As the organized retail juggernaut literally bulldozes its way towards market domination, a number of retail formats and categories are in the offing, ready to capitalize on the flourishing Indian market. Malls, hypermarkets and supermarkets have become familiar landscape to the average Indians, dotting the entire horizon of today”s urban jungle. Retail economic zone (REZ) is the latest entrant to the jargon. According to the Financial Chronicle, in the very near future Retail Entertainment Zones are going to be the next big thing in the Indian retail sector.
REZs, as the name itself suggests, are on the lines of SEZs (Special Economic Zones) and IT parks, where multiple verticals and domains of business transactions are conducted in a single geographical location or zone. These entertainment zones for retail, spread around 100 acres each, would open avenues for hospitality, retail and entertainment companies to exist in a single zone with a capacity to generate business to the tune of around Rs 2000 crore annually. This retailing concept would entail the development of a specific area as an entertainment destination, where people can come to dine, shop, have fun and games and even stay, if they wish. The retail Association of India, under the aegis of its chief executive officer Kumar Rajagopalan, is burning the midnight oil, lobbying the government of some prospective states to initiate REZs. Some projects have already come up and are on an advance stage under the private – public partnership model, with the RAI acting as the facilitator, bringing retailers, government and real estate developers on the discussion table. Some state governments have already agreed on providing land and tax exemptions that are generally doled out to the SEZs and IT parks for the REZs too.
are a win-win situation for all the players “” government as well as the retailers. As far as the government is concerned, an underutilized or unutilized piece of land has the prospect of becoming a regular revenue generator; similarly, the retailers too can look for high returns by cutting cost through cheaper property and other tax sops.
As the Indian entertainment and leisure retail unfolds a parallel story of the global trend in this segment, REZs would be a consumer”s paradise. Other than just a hub for local consumption, a one-stop shop, providing multiple services and products – multiplexes, food courts, entertainment and theme parks, spas, shopping centers etc, these retail entertainment zones have huge tourism. Beware! Dubai, Singapore; India is already on your heels, to take the spot as the premium shopping destination of the world.