How Malls are Gearing Up for the Festivities
How Malls are Gearing Up for the Festivities

With several new players entering the market, malls in India have emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced industries. Over the years, the total concept and the idea of shopping have undergone an attention-drawing change in terms of format and consumer buying behavior, ushering in a revolution in shopping in India. In the last few months, the malls have seen increased footfalls with the markets opening up post-pandemic. People are stepping out with their loved ones more to make up for lost time and to shop, dine, or watch a movie.

Malls are striving hard to integrate all the latest developments and trends witnessed by the industry. Reinventing and modifying processes with a modern outlook is the key to staying afloat amid rising competition caused by new entrants. With the festive season around the corner, the malls are expecting strong demand from consumers, and are hopeful of an upward growth trend over the last festive season.

“The 2021 festive season was lukewarm because retailers were partially open and there was still some apprehension about going to public places, but this year looks very promising. We are eagerly looking forward to the festivities as we expect strong demand across all categories. More specifically, the fashion, personal care, and electronics verticals are expected to generate a lot of demand in the coming months as people revel in the festive celebration,” Rajneesh Mahajan, CEO, Inorbit Malls said.

“We expect a big turnout this season. People have shaken off the fears of the pandemic and are spending more. The economy is also on the growth path. We are hopeful of an upward trend and are hopeful of substantial growth over the last year observed across categories, especially electronic goods, travel sports, entertainment, and leisure,” Abhishek Bansal, Executive Director, Pacific Mall stated.

“The Covid era was an arduous time for the entire industry and we witnessed numerous disruptions. After almost 2 years life is gaining normalcy and customer sentiments are positive as people gear up to celebrate this festive season with their loved ones without any restrictions. This is also the time when several festive offers and discounts are ongoing and various themed events are being celebrated in the mall resulting in a rise in footfalls further giving a boost to our sales,” Gaurav Balani, Head of Marketing, Infiniti Mall added.

Driving the Best Customer Experience This Festive Season

The pandemic and the consequent growing popularity of online shopping have witnessed a major transformation in consumer behavior. It has led them to re-evaluate their priorities, and how to interact with various shopping categories, and are choosing to spend money wisely.

At present, Pacific Mall is operating five malls in India. While three of them are located in Delhi, one each is situated in Dehradun and Ghaziabad. For a better understanding of consumers’ expectations and to serve them better, the brand has implemented a mall feedback system to understand its customers’ behavior. “Besides, we are also conducting surveys and gathering insights from multiple sources to help us plan accordingly. Further, we have curated zones that are Instagramable and enable our customers to easily share their experiences on social media,” Bansal explained.

Infiniti Mall currently operates 2 malls in India in Mumbai - Infiniti Mall (Andheri) and Infiniti Mall (Malad). “Services like reward programs, an omnichannel model, and customer experiential activities are quickly gaining traction. Infiniti Mall is constantly working towards creating engaging experiences not only for customers but also for its employees,” Balani said.

Inorbit Malls has a total of 4 shopping malls across the country - Mumbai (Malad), Navi Mumbai (Vashi), Hyderabad, and Vadodara. “We feel customer experience is the key driver of our business and we are constantly listening and taking in feedback so we can create a fantastic experience for our consumers,” Mahajan stated.

Marketing Initiatives

With the change in media consumption, this festive season offers opportunities to connect with consumers like never before. Consumers are discovering brands on social media. Hence, Pacific Mall has leveraged formats like Instagram Stories, Interactive Ads, a series of promotional videos showcasing behind-the-scene activity, and interesting titbits, and maximizing the reach of third-party platforms to enable it to build the brand and strengthen our foothold.

“Our spending on advertising, both traditional (print media) and contemporary (social media) has also gone up. We are trying to tie up with celebrities and roping in new brands and F&B partners to give our malls an edge over the competition,” Bansal asserted.

Similarly, in order to create a delightful experience for its customers, Infiniti Mall started with open-air movie screenings. It also plans on running numerous discount schemes/offers, followed by several fun events on the occasion of Diwali and Christmas.

“Brands are also given the opportunity to display their latest collections at the atrium in the mall. We will soon launch brands like Armani Exchange, Dune London, and adidas Kids at Infiniti Mall Malad,” Balani noted.

Inorbit Malls’ 'IN Rewards Program' allows anyone to register to become a member with just one click on WhatsApp. Its marketing programs are designed in alignment with the audience, the market, and the brand.

“There is a lot happening at all our malls to engage with customers this festive season, from interactive activities and games on our premises to attractive offers and discounts of up to 70 percent offered by our retail partners. This year, we added a few new brands to our kitty and will continue to tie up with local and global brands that will make our customers happy,” Mahajan added.

What’s Happening in the Tech Space?

Inorbit Malls has deployed a few tech innovations including AI-enabled CCTV cameras that collate crucial customer-centric data like demographics, age, etc., which, in turn, enable it to curate specific experiences for a particular target group while also allowing it to make important decisions regarding the overall experience of its patrons across its malls. Additionally, the company has a table ordering service at its food courts where consumers can order from a multitude of restaurants from their table and have it delivered to them in a seamless dining experience

“Contactless parking and valet and pre-booking of the parking spot are other tech-driven services that we provide,” Mahajan asserted.

Meanwhile, Pacific Mall has facilitated a Mall App for digital interaction with its tenants, feedback, online transactions, and a loyalty program. For its customers, it has rolled out the Loyalty Programme focussing predominantly on rewarding customers by giving them back a shopping value on every purchase. Besides, Pacific Mall is also providing its valued customers with e-vouchers that can be redeemed at the partner store. These apart, it has also pioneered Drop the Q, which enables orders from the table, wherein food is served at the table directly.

“Further, we are also optimizing the use of available resources along with eco-friendly best practices and technology intervention,” Bansal noted.

Keeping up with the pace in technology, Infiniti mall will soon be available on WhatsApp making it easier for its customers to reach it. “Within the mall, we have also added a digital display which improves the visual experience for our customers, in order to revamp and elevate the mall ambiance,” Balani said.

Future of Shopping Malls in India

Indian retail market is estimated to reach $1.1-1.3 trillion by 2025. In 2019-20, it was valued at $0.7 trillion, which makes for a CAGR (Compounded Annual Growth Rate) of 9-11 percent. It is driven by socio-demographic and economic factors such as urbanization, income growth, and a rise in nuclear families. India as a country with its young hardworking population is ready to roar and we are going to witness good times ahead. All this augurs well for shopping malls in the future.

With more international brands entering the market and many national retailers making significant expansion plans, the demand for premium retail space is increasing and there is a clear supply gap in Tier-II and III markets which will be addressed in the next few years

Furthermore, the future of shopping malls is extremely technology driven. After the pandemic, there has been a rise in businesses using technology to adapt to the changing times. Technology also adds to the convenience of customers by allowing them to perform various activities and reducing the time taken considerably.

Talking about the expansion plans for Pacific Mall, Bansal said that from the existing five malls, it will soon be a company of 10 malls. Besides, its new concept outlet mall at Jasola, New Delhi is slated for opening shortly. “Further, our two flagship malls will come up after the opening of the outlet mall at Jasola, namely the Mall of Dehradun and Big Box mall. They are located at Haridwar expressway in Dehradun and Faridabad at NIT respectively,” Bansal stated.

Inorbit Malls, too, aims to add close to a million square feet every year. “The delivery of these greenfield projects can be expected from the 2026 fiscal onwards,” Mahajan concluded.

Stay on top – Get the daily news from Indian Retailer in your inbox
Also Worth Reading