Nexus Malls — the mall management arm of the Blackstone Group in India — has seen 90% business recovery after the demand dent due to the Covid-19 disruption, said Jayen Naik, its senior vice president for operations and projects.
The company now aims to recover to 100% of the pre-pandemic, 2019, levels by December-end.
“The last 18 months have been difficult for everyone across the country, but this time the recovery is across segments, this time with an upward trend since September,” said Naik.
The organised retail industry in India was one of the worst hit sectors due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, Nexus has completed the transition of the Forum Malls portfolio amid the pandemic. It had acquired Forum Malls as part of a $1.2 billion deal between Blackstone and the Prestige Group to take over the income-generating retail assets of the latter.
Forum Malls, it said, has reported more than 80% recovery in business compared with 2019.
With the acquisition of Prestige Group’s retail portfolio, Nexus has nearly doubled its total area under operations to 10 million sq ft. Its portfolio now has 16 malls.
“The total retail footprint in India is around 65 million sq ft, and Nexus holds close to 15% of the share. We are the largest mall operator in India,” said Naik.
Blackstone’s current retail assets portfolio also includes the 1.15-million-sq-ft Elante Mall in Chandigarh, 1-million-sq-ft Seawoods Grand Central Mall in Navi Mumbai and two assets each in Indore and Pune. In November 2015, it had acquired two malls in Amritsar and Ahmedabad from Alpha G Corp.