Besides being home to a number of iconic markets, Chennai has seen an increase in modern shopping malls and emporiums over the past few decades. For anyone looking to indulge in some retail therapy, the city has some great options to offer.
With a whopping 1.1 million square feet of shopping space, Phoenix Marketcity in Chennai’s Velachery is India’s largest mall. Filled with luxury and retail brands from across the globe such as Zara, M&S and Lifestyle, the mall is a shopper’s paradise. Although it is located in Velachery, near the southern edge of the city, Phoenix MarketCity sees more footfall than most other malls in the city and gets extremely crowded during the weekends.
The heyday of Spencer Plaza as a mainstream shopping centre may be long gone, but India’s oldest mall has still managed to keep up with the times. It focuses on antiques and handicrafts (such as exquisite Rajasthani handicrafts and pashmina shawls) that you won’t be able to find at any other major mall in the city. Don’t forget to brush up on those bargaining skills before visiting the plaza.
Until just a few years back, Khader Nawaz Khan Road in Nungambakkam was rated as one of India’s costliest retail spaces in the whole country. While other shopping districts in major metros may have overtaken it in recent years, the road still remains one of Chennai’s most sought-after luxury retail destinations and is home to more global luxury retail outlets than any other place in the city. From the uber luxe Bergamo Mall to Adidas Originals and Calvin Klein Jeans, this road is decked with several high-street brands. It is also home to a number of great local labels such as Silkworm Boutique.
Chennai’s largest flea market, Burma Bazaar, has remained an important shopping destination in the city despite a heavy crackdown on roadside markets by the municipality in recent years. The bazaar gets its name from the fact that it was largely established by immigrants from Burma in the ’60s after the Burmese civil war. For decades now, Burma Bazaar has been Chennai’s go-to destination for cheap fashion and has hundreds of stalls selling footwear, clothes, electronics, accessories, and more.