Logistics firm Bhumika Enterprises, which has been foraying into retail real estate in Rajasthan, is on a major expansion spree. After Udaipur and Alwar, the group is planning several similar projects in other major cities of Rajasthan as well as other cities adjoining Delhi- NCR.
Committed to their theme of ‘After Here Nowhere’, the brand is approaching new projects with unique designs, fresh perspective and open mind. In an exclusive chat with Shopping Centre News, Uddhav Poddar, Managing Director, Bhumika Realty talks about the vision of the brand. He also analyses the progress of the mall in 2019, elaborating on the expansion plans in 2020.
Excerpts from the chat…
How has the year 2019 been for the brand? What are your expectations from 2020?
The year 2019 has been quite special for us. Talking about Urban Square, we have signedlots of anchors for the mall. Right now, we have confirmed 7 anchor stores at Urban Square.Since the launch of this project two years ago, we have received a good response from all the top retailers. Udaipur despite being a Tier II city, is becoming home for many national and international brands, as they are opening their first store in the city at Urban Square. We have also evolved as a brand, winning numerous awards in 2019 at various platforms including IMAGES Shopping Centre Awards.
How do you see Urban Square as a brand? What will be the USP of this mall?
I won’t call Urban Square a shopping mall. It is mixed-used retail development under one roof. It has got 200 rooms hotel along with a large shopping and entertainment focused retail space. We are going to offer the biggest cinema in the city at the mall. Besides retail, the mixed-used development comprises of offices and service apartments, under one roof. The mall will be witnessing a lot of traffic from Gujarat due to its location. Our aim was to make the mall a large regional retail centre plus a tourist destination and we are on verge of creating one.
What are the new factors that have been added / are being planned in Urban Square for the benefit of the tenants?
Our first focus is to make the mall very unique and brand rich. One way to do this is with a healthy brand mix. We are coming up the right mix and with organised zoning to help us drive footfalls. The mall is being designed by a leading global architect and therefore, the design will be refreshing and new for both consumers and retailers.
The mall will also be technologically equipped. We are using the latest available technology to shape up mall services, be it parking or other security measures. We plan to have Augmented Reality (AR) corners, which will help us in mall management among other services.
Which brands are a part of Urban Square as of now?
We have Shoppers Stop, INOX, Marks & Spencer, Reliance Trent and Tata Westside as confirmed anchors. Urban Square will be a ‘big-box destination’, where the focus will be on stronger anchor brands. We are on verge of signing on a large international FEC player and we will reveal the name soon. A lot of brands are in the pipeline as well, which will fill anchor and vanilla slots. In the F&B segment, we have F Bar and are also signing on brands like Sagar Ratna, Govinda etc. Tell us about the new markets which Bhumika Realty is looking at after Urban Square?
Udaipur Mall is in final phase of construction and we are hoping to handout fitouts for anchor brands by this year. After Alwar, we are coming up with new projects in Jaipur and Jodhpur followed by Bikaner and Delhi NCR.