India's Mania for Malls

The glass and metal facade of the Sahara Mall in Gurgaon, a thriving township southwest of New Delhi, looks like a perfect emblem of the new India. Emblazoned with logos of clothing stores, gift shops and fast-food restaurants, the mall's glistening exterior seems to capture the exuberance of India's economic boom. Inside, however, except for a busy restaurant and supermarket, business is sluggish, and many shops are slathered with signs proclaiming SALE. "The customer response has been far below our expectations," says Atul Kaushal, owner of Threads & Toes Mart, a shop that sells jeans and shoes. "Many people come to...

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