Highway Retailing in India:  Growth opportunity with great potential

Highway retailing in India has undergone a remarkable transformation in recent years, evolving from mere pit stops to bustling commercial hubs that cater to the diverse needs of travelers and nearby catchments alike. The exciting opportunity presented by highway retailing is evident as many retail brands have realized their potential and have focused their expansion in this category over the past few years. The stretch of National Highway 48 (NH-48) in Gurugram acts as an apt location for highway retailing and EBD83, nestled along this bustling highway, is poised to offer an opportunity towards this growing market demand.

A Paradigm Shift on the Indian Highways

Indian National Highways, despite constituting a mere 2% of the road network, bear the weight of nearly 40% of the total road traffic. This staggering statistic underscores the pivotal role of National Highways in the country’s transportation infrastructure. The present highways have shed their former dullness, blossoming into vibrant corridors of life and activity. They now offer provisions for entertainment, shopping, fun & games, hygienic bed and breakfast, and international quality diners. With widened lanes stretching into 6 to 8 lanes, the quaint roadside shops of yesteryear have given way to modern shopping areas. Meanwhile, humble dhabas have transformed into culinary destinations, serving up a fusion of Indian and continental cuisines alongside local entertainment venues like multiplexes, amusement parks, and drive-in cinemas. Indian highways no longer induce fatigue but instead offer a joyful experience to travelers.

Seizing Opportunities in the Future of Highway Retailing

With passenger traffic on National Highways projected to soar to 394 million by 2030[2], the retail opportunity on these highways is estimated to reach a whopping $4.2 billion[2]. This surge in traffic, coupled with changing consumer preferences and lifestyles, presents fertile ground for businesses to thrive. As is also evident from growing private vehicle sales in the SUVs category, the millennials and Gen Z now prefer to travel on their own and availability and accuracy of map apps along with good drivability have increased leisure travel by road.

Highway retail in India is witnessing an unprecedented surge, propelled by a harmonious blend of factors tailored to meet the discerning needs of consumers. Here’s a succinct overview of the key drivers behind this remarkable growth:

Elevated Infrastructure: Ongoing enhancements in highway infrastructure have not only eased accessibility but also enriched connectivity, enticing a burgeoning influx of travelers. This evolution has fostered an environment conducive to the establishment of retail havens catering to diverse demands.

Automotive Advancement: Sports utility vehicles made for more than half of India’s record 4 million passenger vehicle sales in 2022-23[3] indicating that people prefer travelling by road. This surge has spurred a demand for amenities along these routes, offering travelers a seamless blend of leisure and necessity.

Post-Pandemic Dynamics: Emerging from the shadow of the pandemic, a palpable YOLO( You Only Live Once) has ignited a renewed passion for exploration and leisure pursuits. This surge in mobility has translated into heightened patronage and expenditure at highway retail outlets, reinvigorating the sector, creating space for both national and international retailers.

Generational Shifts: The evolving lifestyle preferences of Generation Z, characterized by a profound appreciation for experiences, convenience, and connectivity, have left an indelible mark on highway retail. This tech-savvy demographic’s penchant for innovative retail concepts and amenities has reshaped the landscape, driving demand for personalized and immersive experiences along highways.

Pioneering Ventures Along India’s Highways

Delhi Ambala Highway, Sri Ganganagar-Bhatinda-Chandigarh Highway

Mumbai Pune Highway, NH-36 Raipur: City Mall 36 featuring 154 National and International brands.

NH-2 Delhi-Faridabad: Eldeco Station I and City Centre Malls attract daily commuters and tourists.

NH-1 Murthal, Haryana: Sukhdev Dhaba transformed into a highway dining and shopping complex.

These destinations not only have Indian brands like Haldirams, Bikanerwala, Café Coffee Day, Nirula’s, but also, international brands such as Starbucks, Subway, KFC, McDonalds, etc.  Moreover, apart from F&B brands, apparel brands have started opening shops to leverage the footfall and visibility, such as Puma, Mother Care, Tommey Hilfiger, Calvein Klein, Uniqlo, Hamleys, Decathelon, etc

NH-48 Gurgaon: The perfect Hub for Highway Retailing

Sector 83 in Gurugram emerges as a beacon of success in the realm of highway retailing on NH-48, boasting a strategic location and a host of advantageous factors that make it a hotspot for retail ventures. With approximately 80,000 vehicles[1] passing through this stretch daily, Sector 83 attracts a diverse clientele, ensuring consistent footfall for retail establishments. Its designation as a “Category A” highway by Knight Frank[2] underscores the immense potential for retail opportunities along NH-48. Positioned directly on NH-48, it enjoys unparalleled visibility and accessibility, making it an ideal spot for retail outlets to capture the attention of both daily and weekend holiday travelers. The impending relocation of the Manesar toll plaza is poised to make this location more appealing. Surrounded by a vast residential catchment area in New Gurugram, Sector 83 ensures a steady influx of local customers in addition to the highway travelers, creating a robust consumer base for retail businesses. The sector also has a sizable commercial belt for future development as per Gurgaon Master Plan 2031, which further enhances the sector’s appeal from retail point of view. With all essential elements in place, Sector 83 emerges as the premier destination for discerning retail ventures seeking success along the bustling corridors of NH-48.

EBD83:   The future of highway retailing

EBD83, a flagship project by Emaar India in this space, is poised to redefine highway retailing in Gurugram, ticking all the right boxes for the retailers in terms of visibility and catchment. Apart from NH48, EBD83 has a significant secondary catchment in New Gurugram (around 90000 apartments[4]), with residential projects in the immediate vicinity such as Palm Garden (with 1000+ families) and upcoming Cendana (with 1300+ families), and various other projects in proximity such as Vatika Lifestyle Homes (1.6 km), Primus (2.8 km), and South Privana (4.6 km). Boasting a strategic location right on NH-48, this project offers commercial plots for Shop-cum-office development, catering to the evolving needs of consumers. With an array of shopping, dining, and entertainment options slated to emerge, EBD83 is set to transform the highway retail landscape, offering a seamless blend of convenience and luxury. Being an Emaar branded destination, it also offers EV charging stations for easy charging, while the travelers stop, eat and shop. It also has ample parking space and utility spaces for the convenience of the customers.

Highway retailing in India is on an upward trajectory, fueled by the exponential growth in passenger traffic and changing consumer dynamics. NH-48 in Gurugram emerges as a prime hotspot for highway retailing, where EBD83 offers a great opportunity to be part of this revolution.  With SCO plots, this becomes an ideal option for investors and retail brands to invest, build and grow.


  2. Knight Frank India Report ‘Think India Think Retail: Catch Them Moving – Report on Transit Retail’ (2020) “Read with disclaimers in the report”.
  3. JLL report – India Retail: Evolving to a new dawn –
Follow Us