Basant Lok, Ansal Plaza: Once tony marketplaces, now falling on hard times

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Ansal Plaza mall might have been one of the first to open in Delhi but has seen a steady decline over the years with office spaces taking over merchandise shops. Ansal Plaza mall might have been one of the first to open in Delhi but has seen a steady decline over the years with office spaces taking over merchandise shops.
SummaryBefore advent of malls, Delhi's brand and fashion-conscious flocked to these places.

market association, while shops have shut down, others, among them pubs, have taken their place. “While five-six shops have shut, retail outlets have opened here. Even pubs, because of which unwanted elements hang around the market, which is a problem,” Das says.

On the competition from surrounding malls, Das believes each option — mall and high-street — has its advantages and disadvantages. “In high-street, you get personalised service while shops in malls are staff operated. On the other hand, the air-conditioning in malls makes it a more appealing option during summers,” he adds.

The president of the market association believes while malls have affected business, high-streets will bounce back. “In a few years, high-streets will soon be back in business. We have seen this in other parts of the world also,” Harish Jagwani says.

The Delhi Development Authority (DDA) is responsible for the redevelopment of the centre. The agency claims a plan to redevelop the complex is still under consideration.

“It will require clearances from DDA’s screening committee before it reaches the implementation stage,” a DDA official says.

Anupam Complex, Saket

The Anupam complex, like Basant Lok, has taken a hit due to competition from malls that have opened in Saket. But it is slowly trying to re-invent itself to survive. “Our customer base shrinks in summer when people prefer the air-conditioned malls over high-street markets but in winter, business is back to normal. The market has transformed over the years. The niche shops have shut down and shifted to the malls, which attract that kind of crowd,” Bhagwan Das, owner of Lebanese Point and vice-president of the market association, says.

While many shops have closed, new ones have opened. “It has become more ofa restaurant and coffee shop market,”

Das says.

Little China, a restaurant which opened last week, used to be a shoe shop. “People from surrounding areas basically come to the market to eat. They like to grab a bite before a movie. We also get a lot of home delivery orders. A shoe shop used to operate from this space earlier but this isn’t the kind of market where people come to shop anymore so it shut down,” Jordan, manager of Little China, says.

Chutney D’lite, a small joint which has been functioning from this complex for the past 10 years, admits there has been a substantial fall in footfalls and business has taken a dip.

“There is talk of Anupam Cinema being revamped. Once that happens

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