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DLF Retail has said it will set up six new retail hubs as part of its expansion plans over the next 25-30 months. The company said it will increase its retail footprint by adding three premium neighbourhood plazas; two office retail spaces and one premium mall across Delhi-NCR, Chennai and Goa. Cumulatively, the company will add 2.3 million square feet to its existing 4.2 million square feet of retail portfolio.

Of this, three premium neighborhood plazas will be in Gurugram, including Summit Plaza in DLF 5, New Gurgaon Plaza in Sector 91, Gurugram, as well as Midtown Plaza in west Delhi's Moti Nagar. Two additional office retail spaces will be at The Hub in Chennai and Cyber Park in Gurugram. There will also be a premium mall, Patto Plaza in Goa.

Pushpa Bector, executive director, DLF Retail, said the idea was largely to look at premium neighborhood centers around its residential complexes and develop retail business models around them. Three of its locations (in Gurugram and West Delhi) have neighborhood residential communities of DLF built around them.

She said that these new retail developments will be smaller at 300,000-350,000 square feet of gross leasable area spaces each as compared to its existing space. While she did not disclose how much the company would spend on this asset, she added that the developments attached to the residential complexes will give new brands the opportunity to showcase themselves. "It will also enhance the lives of the consumers who live around there. These services will include electronics, food and beverage offerings as well as other retail formats like watch stores." She did not disclose the names of the brands that will operate here.

With these six new properties, the company will have a total of 6.5 million square feet retail space across the country. In its existing malls, it has about 670 brands including about 300 international ones and 168 F&B outlets. It also has 26 movie screens across its malls.

Bector said that Goa was a different market. The development here will be a premium project. "It is such an interesting market for us. This one will not be a community space but a proper, premium offering like DLF Avenue in Delhi." Goa's Patto Plaza will be spread over 0.3 million square feet.

The company said while it had been a difficult year for businesses across the globe, the retail industry -- organised retail -- has bounced back after the second wave. "We have developing cost efficiencies which are here to stay. We don't want to let those go. Even our new business model -- like the neighbourhood retail development -- is a great model we are developing," she said. The company is also looking at increasing its rentals now that demand is coming back.

The Shopping Centres Association of India had estimated that overall, retail lost about 25,000 crore in annual sales and malls about 3,000 crore during the second wave of the pandemic. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) also said that localised lockdowns imposed across states during the second wave also led to a business loss of about 15 lakh crore in April and May this year.

Last month, DLF announced that it had made a net profit of 378.12 crore in the second quarter of fiscal 2021. The company said in its quarterly call that its consolidated revenues stood at 1557 crore in this period, owing largely to strong demand in the residential business.

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