Vacant retail space in abandoned shopping malls increased by 58% in 2023 across eight cities

Vacant retail space in abandoned shopping malls increased by 58% in 2023 across eight cities

Vacant retail space in abandoned shopping malls increased by 58% in 2023 across eight cities

According to Knight Frank, the count of deserted shopping malls, those with more than 40% vacancy, escalated to 64 last year from 57 in 2022 across eight prominent cities. The real estate consultancy Knight Frank India unveiled a report titled 'Think India Think Retail 2024', delving into the dynamics of shopping centers and main streets in 29 cities.

The report highlighted a significant surge in underperforming retail properties across eight major Tier I cities. A total of 64 shopping malls, encompassing about 13.3 million square feet of leasable space, were designated as 'Ghost Shopping Centers' in 2023. This marks a 58% increase in area compared to the previous year's 8.4 million square feet, resulting in an estimated devaluation of Rs 6,700 crore or USD 798 million in 2023.

The National Capital Region (NCR) accounted for the highest stock of ghost shopping centres, measuring 5.3 million square feet, followed by Mumbai with 2.1 million square feet and Bengaluru with 2 million square feet. Hyderabad was the sole city to experience a decrease in ghost shopping centre stock, down by 19% to 0.9 million square feet in 2023. Kolkata recorded the most significant rise in ghost shopping centres at 237% year-on-year, although from a smaller base. Of the total 64 ghost malls across the top 8 cities, Knight Frank data revealed that Delhi-NCR housed 21, Bengaluru 12, Mumbai 10, Kolkata 6, Hyderabad 5, Ahmedabad 4, and Chennai and Pune 3 each. Shishir Baijal, Chairman & Managing Director of Knight Frank India, emphasized the importance of an enriched retail experience for shoppers, underscoring the significance of physical retail spaces.

Baijal highlighted the exceptional performance of Grade A malls, maintaining strong occupancy, foot traffic, and conversion rates, while Grade C assets and ghost shopping centres lagged, urging landlords to revitalise or divest such properties.

Additionally, Knight Frank noted a reduction in the total number of shopping centres in Tier I cities over the past year, despite the addition of 8 new retail centres. The total count dropped to 263 in 2023 as 16 shopping centres shut down, either demolished due to various factors or permanently closed or auctioned. The report encompassed 340 shopping centres and 58 high streets across 29 Indian cities, compiled through primary surveys examining retail locations to provide comprehensive store-level information.
About the author
Sandeep Sadh

About Sandeep Sadh

Sandeep Sadh has been in the real estate business since 1993 in Mumbai. He has expertise in Buying, Selling, Leasing properties in Mumbai and a deep understanding of legal and tax related matters due to his experience.


Over the years, he has experienced the City's growth. He has been a columnist in the Times of India with numerous articles, which bring about a clear picture of the real estate market in Mumbai. He is a regular on NDTV, CNBC, ET Now Real Estate and Zee News, giving his experienced quotes as and when required.

Sandeep Sadh has used information and technology since the year 1998 and now what people call it Prop Tech to cater to the needs of Home Buyer, Seller, Investor and Corporates, HNI and NRI looking to Buy/Sell or Lease their properties in the Mumbai Property Market.

Sandeep has a holistic experience of real estate be it Leasing an Apartment for your CEO in the most upmarket buildings, to enter into a long lease for your office in Mumbai in prime buildings or an Investment in good projects with a detailed analysis keeping in mind the Demand and Supply and other micro factors of the project/property.

Sandeep Sadh has developed a few websites like,, which augment the real estate consulting business.

Right from Investments in Primary Markets to Selling, leasing and specializing for NRI’s all over the world. He is an expert in NRI Home Buying and Selling and has a good understanding of the Income Tax laws pertaining to Selling a Property and Repatriating funds overseas or reinvesting based on Capital Gains etc.


  • Residential Leasing
  • Commercial Leasing
  • Residential Home Buying
  • Commercial Property Buying
  • Investment Properties with complete Property Management as your Real Estate Family office

While transacting in the above segments, he has complete experience and deep understanding of the paper work, his areas of expertise are :

  1. Drafting of the Leave and License Agreements
  2. MOU for Buying/Selling Properties
  3. Drafting Agreement for Sale
  4. Gift Deeds
  5. Computing of Capital Gains with current ready reckoner values
  6. Drafting of Supporting Power of Attorney.

As an add on Service, Sandeep Sadh has tied up with various Professionals like Lawyers and Chartered Accountants who add value in transacting and specially services for Non Resident Indians.

Application to Income Tax for Lower Tax Deduction Certificate – Through a qualified CA and keeping a grip on the traction so that the remittance back to Non Resident Indians after Selling the property is seamlessly transferred.

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