India’s retail sector witnessed a remarkable revival in 2022, an upward momentum that has persisted throughout 2023. A combination of favourable economic conditions and restored consumer confidence has ignited a surge in leasing activity and the establishment of fresh retail outlets by both domestic and international retailers, according to JLL.
A major new development is Reliance Industries’ luxury mall Jio World Plaza, which opened on November 1 and welcomed a slew of international luxury brands to Mumbai including French heavyweights Dior and Louis Vuitton, among other tenants.
India is anticipated to become a prominent player in the global luxury goods industry, with projections indicating that spending by Indian consumers will reach EUR25 to EU30 billion (USD26.8 to USD32.2 billion) by 2030, according to Bain & Company.
Inside Reliance’s Jio World Plaza
Embedded within the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, Jio World Plaza offers proximity to the Nita Mukesh Ambani Cultural Centre, the Jio World Convention Centre, and the Jio World Garden.
The glittering mall spans 750,000 square feet and features over 60 luxury brands, including around 20 flagship stores, from Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Dior, and Burberry, to Bulgari, Cartier, Tiffany & Co, and Rolex. Jio World Plaza will also house Bulgari and Pottery Barn’s first stores in Mumbai, as well as Armani Caffe.
Isha Ambani, director at the Mukesh Ambani-chaired Reliance Industries, said in a press statement: “Our envisioning of the Jio World Plaza is aimed at bringing the best global brands to India as well as highlighting the prowess and craftsmanship of top Indian brands; and hence create a very unique retail experience. Our pursuit of excellence, innovation, and enhancing customer experience continues to propel us in every venture.”
International retailers on the way
India has established itself as an attractive destination for international retailers, with more than 12 global brands entering the market in the past 18 months, according to a report by JLL.
Domestic retail chains such as Reliance Retail and Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited (ABFRL) are also partnering with global brands to bring their offerings to India.
In 2022 ABFRL announced a partnership with Galeries Lafayette to open two luxury department stores in Mumbai and Delhi, becoming the first European department store of its kind to venture into India. The first store, a 90,000-square-foot development in Mumbai, will be located in the Fort heritage precinct and is expected to be operational by 2024; a 65,000-square-foot store in Delhi will be housed within DLF Emporio, opening in 2025.
“This is a coming-of-age moment for Indian luxury. India is now home to a generation of young and affluent consumers with global exposure, who are willing to spend on the finer things in life. This is visible in the boom and dynamism of the luxury market,” said Ashish Dikshit, managing director, Aditya Birla Fashion and Retail Limited, as the partnership was announced.
A number of other brands have chosen to open their initial stores in Delhi NCR and Mumbai, which already have multiple superior-grade retail developments. F&B brands like Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Pret-A-Manger have also recognised India’s favourable demographics and positive economic conditions, prompting their entry into the country.
Inspired by India’s encouraging retail growth narrative, Lulu Group and Ingka Group have also expressed intentions to embark on mall development projects in the country. Ingka Centres, in particular, recently unveiled its plans to introduce the Lykli brand for its mixed-use retail ventures in India. The inaugural Lykli centre is scheduled to open its doors in Gurugram in 2025.