Shopping Centers Today International

FEB 2016

Shopping Centers Today is the news magazine of the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)

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demand quality, but their spending power isn't yet established at a very deep level, and costs are volatile." Wendy's is trying to set itself apart from the growing competition in India by positioning itself as a "quick-service- plus" chain, observes Reid. Its restau- rants in India have the look and feel of a casual diner, offering customers a higher-end experience than they can get at the typical fast-food joint. Cus- tomers place their orders at a coun- ter, but the food, served on china plates, is delivered to tables by wait staff. Like its competitors, Wendy's has developed products specifically for the Indian market. Its menu in India includes 10 vegetarian items, including a highly popular crispy potato burger made from mashed potatoes and chili sauce. Wendy's expected to open its fourth shop in India last month. Over the next sev- eral years, the company is aiming to expand its footprint there to some 30 to 50 restaurants, taking a slower approach than some competitors. Burger King, for instance, entered the market in late 2014 and now has about 30 restaurants in India, says Reid. "In order to win in India, you have to be entrepreneurial, constantly adjust- ing your model," Reid said. "The old model of the quick-service restaurant, where you unpack the box in a given market, doesn't work so well there." It is not hard to understand why global burger chains are going to great lengths to establish them- selves in India. Some have seen their sales stagnate in the West, thanks in part to com- petition from fast-casual res- taurant brands and a growing emphasis on healthy eating. Among emerging markets, India has been outperform- ing once-red-hot markets like China and Brazil, and its current government is widely regarded as business-friendly. "By process of elimination," said Reid, "India has become this interesting place" for in- ternational brands. I n d i a w a s o n e o f t h e world's fastest-growing econ- omies last year, and it is pro- jected to see a 7 percent annual growth rate through 2024, according to econo- mists at Harvard University's Center for International Development. "If you are an investor or a brand, you are attracted to the enormous long-term potential in India," said Reid. "But there will be bumps in the road." SCT 50 S C T / F e b r u a r y 2 0 1 6 p h o t o : c o u r t e s y I n o r b I t M a l l s o f I n d I a

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