The Economic Times: February 22, 2008
New Delhi: BIG Shopping Centres on Thursday announced its entry into India's retail market with plans to develop 60 stores across the country in the next 10 years at an investment of about Rs 9,600 crore.
BIG India Malls Pvt Ltd, a joint venture company between Israel-based BIG Shopping Centres and US-based Lehman Brothers' wholly-owned special purpose vehicle BIG Mauritius Holdings, would develop the shopping malls over about 24 million sq ft of retail space.
"The initial plan is to roll out 60 shopping centres in the country, which will be based on our 'open mall' concept. For this venture, we have earmarked an investment of 2.4 billion dollars," BIG India Malls Pvt Ltd Director Eitan Bar Zeev told reporters here.
To begin with, the company would roll out the first mall at Thane, Mumbai, in November this year, which would be spread over 8.5 acres with a retail space of 5.5 acres, he said, adding that "for the ground floor, we have assigned retail chain 'Hypercity' as the anchor tenant, while the upper floor will have shops of different retailers".
"Open mall is a new concept here, where parking is free and the structures will be up to maximum 'ground plus one' level with large free area. There will be no entertainment or 'hang around' zones as these are meant for hardcore shopping," he added.
After Thane, the company plans to launch such malls in Bangalore, Vadodara, Nagpur, Bhopal and Pune.
"The Bangalore mall will be completed by 2009. Besides metros, our main focus will be Tier II and Tier III cities," Zeev said.
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