Almost two and a half years ago, when I was persuaded by my sister to buy a flat for myself in Mumbai instead of paying increasingly exorbitant rents to increasingly greedy landlords (despite the recession), I never realized truly what I am getting into. Whether it was the EMI and the stretch that I would have to do to meet it, or it was the positives in terms of an integrated complex with a mall, a club house, a hotel, a school, a hospital, etc...I had not really visualized any of it.
Things kept changing and May 2009 till now, there have been many new experiences that I have had with my first home. Increased traffic, food chains refusing to deliver, having my own club house with a swimming pool, squash/tennis/badminton courts, gymnasium, etc, no cafes near my home where I could spend a lazy sunday morning (always a dream), the neighborhood's low brand appeal, the rapidly increasing rentals and property prices, the nearest multiplex although only four kilometres away taking anywhere between twenty minutes to an hour to reach, society formation and new rules that it brought along, comfort of being just three and a half kilometres from office...so many things for it and as many against it.
And then something came up. Phoenix Mills (of the High Street Phoenix fame) took up old and defunct Mukund mills right next to my place (five minutes walking distance) and decided to convert into Phoenix Market City, India's largest mall and amusement complex. From the time they announced the project through the entire construction to the opening a week back, the expectations that I have had of the mall kept on increasing.
Yesterday, I had a chance to visit the newly opened mall and boy, was I pleasantly surprised! I did expect a good collection of brands, given the size of the mall but was definitely prepared for what I saw. Anything that one could ever need in terms of shopping/entertainment was already there or in the process of being there. In addition, there were a lot of stores which were not even branded and work was in progress. Nothing seemed to be missing and there was much more packed into it than what any other place I have seen has to offer.
This was just the inside of the mall, someone said, and there is an entire courtyard that is still to be laid down. I ventured out into the courtyard and realized that it was almost twice the size of the mall (which took me one and a half hours of walking across 4 levels to just cover). What shape the place would take 3-6 months down the line had my antennae of anticipations all propped up.
With the size of the mall being so large, it becomes very important for it to be properly laid out in terms of the ease of finding a particular brand/store in the entire "market city". Once again I was not disappointed when I saw that each floor of the mall was arranged in the form of 2-3 hub-and-spoke models with each spoke representing a lane of shops. Each such lane was invariably based on a theme (all footwear brands in one lane, all apparel brands in another, etc).
While walking through all these hubs and spokes, I made a note of the stores that were either already functional or whose branding was visible (and which were at most a month away from opening). There were a lot of brands that I was aware of, some that were more boutique in nature and the mix was just right, it appeared to me. The names below are just those that could recall having seen earlier (both large and small). Many others are relative unknowns or still on their way and I am really looking forward to discover more in addition to the ones listed below:
Cafes (always wanted one of these close to my house, am now spoilt for choice)
Cafe Coffee Day, Costa Coffee, Cafe pico, Di bella coffee, Kalmane coffee, Cafe bean garu, Cafe Royal
PVR (the largest in India for sure, some 14 screen megaplex is what I have heard), TimeZone, FunZone, Amoeba
Mcdonalds, Cream Centre, Subway, KFC, Pizza Hut, Rainforest, Rajdhani, Mainland China, Joss, Egg Sunday, Kailash Parbat, Maroosh, Mad over Donuts, Hokey Pokey, Gelato, Bowl House, Smokin Joes, Cookie Man, Golden Tips Tea
Sukho Thai, Aroma Thai, Essence of China, VLCC, Health & Glow, The Body Shop, Lush, Nyassa, Color Bar
Zara, Debenhams, Diesel, Veromoda, UCB, French Connection, Promod, Espirit, Alcott, Calvin Klein, Guess, FCUK, Lee, Levis, Wrangler, Luxury Boulevard, Sisley, Celio, Van Heusen, Allen Solly, Arrow, Louis Phillippe, Blackberrys, Park Avenue, Belmonte, Raymond, Lords, La Senza, Madame, Rockport, Color Plus, Headquarter, Indian terrain, AND, 109F, Biba, Bebe, Wills Lifestyle, Ayesha, Globaldesi, Only, JacknJones
Mothercare, Mom & Me, Liliput, UCB Kids, Just for Kids,
Footwear & Bags
Charles n Keith, Bagzone, Hidesign, Nine West, Aldo, Aldo Accessories, Esbeda, VIP, Samsonite, Reliance Footprint, Timberland, Converse, Nike, Reebok, Adidas, Crocs, Planet Sports, Cheemo, Catwalk, Gossip Shoes, Bottomline Footwear, Metro, Clarks, Hush Puppies, Puma, Mochi, Bata
Lifestyle, Max, Pantaloons, Reliance Trends, Reliance Hyper
Jewellery and Watches
Swatch, Titan, Fastrack, Swarovski, Cygnus, Gilli, Carbon
Canon, Archies, Hallmark
Posted at 10:55 am by Nitai