"With the advent of shopping malls, retail industry analysts would have assumed a gradual death for the high streets. However, high streets have survived and a few of them have, in fact, strengthened over the years." says Anuj Puri, Chairman and Country Head at JLL India commenting on the recently released JLL report "High Streets in Vogue - Always".

The report subtitles itself as a "personality analysis of the 24 most popular high streets of India". It notes the positive outlook for retail in India, with an expected growth rate of 12% compounded per annum. It also notes that the high street, what it calls the 'unorganised segment' remains dominant in the country. Leading high streets have established a unique selling proposition over time through constant evolution and have developed, in many cases, a particular niche. As a result, the report notes, they have attracted local and international retailers who would otherwise have been drawn to a mall.

The report includes responses from consumers in each of the surveyed high streets in order to understand what attracts them to the centre. High Streets are popular amongst retailers because of brand visibility. Many high streets attract not only shoppers but others using key routes, surrounding buildings or accessing transport hubs. It is not uncommon for high streets in India to develop into niche destinations focusing on a particular type of goods such as fashions, electronics or footwear.

The report suggests that high streets in India fall into two types - the destination and the transit-orientated. The former are those that have typically established a niche offer that draws consumers from a wide area or which has exclusive brands that themselves attract consumers. Those that are transit-orientated are benefitting from and serving pedestrian flows which would be there anyway through using tansit systemts or alighting to access offices or other facilities.

The report looks at some other aspects of high streets in India today and contains a SWOT analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) of the high street offer. The threats include the weather, changing consumer preferences and online retailing. The report concludes by looking in detail at 24 locations and notes that traditional bazaars have evolved into the high streets of today and that these are no longer seen as downmarket destinations. The report is optimistic about the future of the high street in India but notes the need to manage change.