Mall Culture

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1. All-in-one stores. With everything from groceries and vegetables to footwear, clothes, cosmetics, furnishings and electrical items available under one roof, a growing middle class with higher disposable incomes is heading for the malls in droves. 2. For some, it is a way to chill out on movies and food in the added comfort of a fully air-conditioned space. “In short, it is a living room for most of them.” 3. The malls are another sign of the new, prosperous India, of call centers, outsourcing and more disposable income, of fashionable young people who look as though they belong on MTV. Although much of rural India remains in deep poverty, many urban Indians are becoming richer. The country’s economy is forecast to grow up to 6.9 percent this year. 4. People can shop at stores selling U.S. brands. But they also can buy expensive pillows from Indian stores, statues of Hindu gods and fancy outfits. They can watch movies, eat Indian “street food” from the food court or have their pictures plastered on Coca-Cola cans at a promotional stand. At night they can dance and drink alcohol in the mall’s swanky nightclubs, also relatively new in India. 5. The anchors that first pull the crowds here – and at other malls all over the country – are as varied as they come. There are the US and European chains such as McDonald’s, Lacoste, Pizza Hut, Benetton, Subway, Marks & Spencer and Mango. Their success has spawned the emergence of successful Indian chains such as Pantaloon, Globus, Shoppers Stop, Giant, Lifestyle and Big Bazaar. Stores named after popular branded merchandise also act as effective anchors. These include the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Swatch, Arrow, Louis Vuitton and Nike. 6. Foreign mall operators cannot enter India as foreign companies are not allowed to own real estate in India. Companies like Nike, McDonalds and Reebok sell at mall outlets through their Indian subsidiaries or franchisees. McDonalds, for example, has appointed two master...
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