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News18 » Videos » News18 Shorts

Retail revolution, brand culture hit Chattisgarh

Feb 21, 2008 01:57 AM IST India India

Raipur: Chattisgarh state has often been called the heart of India's armed revolutionary Naxalite movement but today Raipur has become the flag bearer of a different kind of revolution — not an armed one, but a much more peaceful and equally enthralling one. City Mall 36 is Chattisgarh's first mall and it plays host to marquee brands like Big Bazaar and Inox. The locals seem to be loving it for on a week day the mall attracts as many as 7,000 customers, while on weekends there are five times that number. Among those who have discovered the joys of mall crawling are college students. A student, Sonal Sharma says, "We love to come here and pass our time window shopping. A lot of youngsters come here and so this place is great." Adds another college student, Arunima Singh, "Girls can walk around freely without the fear of eve-teasing and so we love to come here." And it's not only customers who like the new mall revolution. People had earlier moved out of Raipur in search of better opportunities, but now there are retail jobs on offer. The Assistant Department Manager of Big Bazaar, Ashish Srivastava says, "One year after completing my MBA, I joined this mall, and people who are completing their graduation right now will have opportunities waiting for them the moment they pass out of the college." While City Mall 36 employs 2,000 people, there are five more malls being built, which are expected to hire at least 10,000 more people. But the problem for malls is that Raipur generates very few other jobs and as a result most youngsters, a mall's potential customers, leave the state. Malls only succeed in cities where there is robust job creation — mainly in high paying IT and service sectors — and unless Raipur can attract those types of companies, its nascent retail revolution could face trying times.

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