NEW DELHI: Vacancy levels at leading Indian malls are falling as more global brands seek bricks-and-mortar retail space, while, ahead of its annual Prime Day event, Amazon has experimented with VR kiosks in some of the country’s most popular malls.

Data from commercial real estate consultants Cushman & Wakefield indicate that vacancy levels are at their lowest in two years, with malls in Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru performing particularly well in this regard.

“Reputed global brands continue to enter and expand in India – a clear sign of the strengthening interest and confidence in this fast-growing market with a burgeoning millennial population,” said Anshul Jain, MD/India Cushman & Wakefield.

“Compared to the past few years, 2018 continues to see considerable investment activity in retail assets and this upswing is expected to continue,” he told the Economic Times.

A similar picture was painted by Rajneesh Mahajan, CEO, Inorbit Malls, India, which owns and operates 2.5 million sq ft of retail space in Mumbai, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Vadodara.

He reported that demand for space had increased by 12-14% and that consumer spending was rising at an even faster rate.

“We are witnessing around 15-20% growth in spending per person specifically in our malls and 8-9% in general against what we had seen a year ago,” he said.

That sort of buzz has encouraged Amazon to experiment with VR kiosks that allow shoppers to arrive via hot air balloon in a city filled with Prime Day products, where, VentureBeat explained, they can handle products in 3D and put clothing on holographic models to assess fit.

“For now, we plan to keep it as a curtain raiser to the [Prime Day] sale,” Subbu Palaniappan, head of Prime member growth & engagement, Amazon India, told the Times of India last week.

“Depending on the feedback, we might make this a permanent feature for those who are interested in the touch and feel experience,” he added.

Sourced from Economic Times, Times of India, VentureBeat; additional content by WARC staff