Now having visited ‘Bharat Mall’ and ‘Empire Mall’ weekend after weekend, (and after finding out that ‘Mall’ is a very loosely defined word in this part of the world 🙂 ), me and this friend of mine had something to cheer about – A new mall to go checkout.
If you are planning on visiting it, you should know that not all stores are open as of now. In fact most stores aren’t even occupied and there is talk of a multiplex, but I don’t see one being operational for the next six months at least. ( not that I am an expert on how fast they work on such things.)
Coming to the mall itself, it is fairly big. They claim that it is the second largest in Karnataka and the 10th largest mall in India. I am not sure about these claims, but it is fairly big. However it was a disappointment for a mall that has been declared open for about a week not to see that even just outside the opened stores, there is a lot of work going on. I am not even sure how safe it is to have it open when people are still putting up the name boards and such.
I Googled for ‘City Center’ and it didn’t really turn up anything, which is in stark contrast to say ‘InOrbit‘ (which I visited in Malad-Mumbai and found to be great) or even Ampa Skywalk in Chennai (which I haven’t visited yet, but hear – is state of the art). Let’s not be harsh on these people. Maybe they will have some college kid build a site soon enough. 🙂
I saw the ‘LifeStyle’ and ‘Westside’ stores being open. These are a welcome relief for people (like me) who are tired of looking at sad stuff in ‘Fashion Bazaar’. If you don’t believe me that Big Bazaar is kinda sad (Pantaloon is not all that bad), you should know that MSD is their brand ambassador. 😀 Both stores (Lifestyle and Westside) seem to have pretty much what you would expect anywhere else, but it is indeed refreshing to see that these things are not available and accessible to the people in Mangalore.
I was very happy and excited to find a Rubik’s cube in one of these stores. Truth is, I have been searching one all over Mangalore and did not find it in the other so-called-malls. It’s another thing, that I already bought it when I last visited Chennai from Odyssey.
Apart from these two stores, there was a ‘Fast track’ store, a Reebok store in the ground floor. There also seemed to be a footwear store, an Arrow showroom (which I don’t think has been opened yet) and an Indigo Nation showroom in the first floor.
Overall, the mall has an unfinished look to it, which is natural because it IS unfinished as on date. 🙂 But I would give a lot of points for the abundance of escalators everywhere, both inside the stores and outside.
Just recently I read this article in ‘The Week’ ‘Outlook’ that predicted that about 50% of the malls would close down by next year-end. Well, fact of the matter is, no matter how busy malls look, it is finally how many people end up buying stuff that matters. If you are a particularly headstrong consumer, then it’s trouble for such malls :D. Here’s a link to the story – The Vanishing shopping Mall. Theraphy for Retail.