Massive malls and shopping complexes have become a distinct marker of our cosmopolitan cities, and the urban experience is hardly complete without them. With the boundaries between different countries and economies melting away at a rapid speed, global brands are now available at our doorstep. But modern malls are not just rows of stores or mere glossy exteriors. In India, malls are increasingly endeavouring to create a more experiential environment for customers. The modern mall is much more than a place to purchase goods and services. It is, instead, a destination unto itself- a gathering place, an arena of conversations, discoveries and new and exciting experiences.
Newer malls are being built with the latest architectural innovations, and existing ones are simultaneously pouring returns into improvements in technology, retail mix and overhauls. The overarching objective is to offer customers a truly international ambience to soak in and revel in. From sprawling outlets of European clothing brands to the best of American burgers and shakes, the modern mall is equipped with everything that was aspirational many years ago for Indian consumers. Names that were only seen in magazines and experiences that seemed possible only on International destinations have now become part of everyday life, thanks to the state-of-the-art malls in India.
Options carry more weight that ever
Advanced amenities that were once novel, have now become things that customers are accustomed to looking forward to in the new avatar of malls. From interactive kiosks and digitally-advanced infrastructure, beautifully-appointed spas, fine dining restaurants, gaming zones that children can spend all day in… the modern mall has it all!The increased spending power of the middle class is allowing for more time spent in malls and mall owners are going all out to cater to their evolved lifestyle preferences. Gone are the days when malls had a few attractive stores which shared space withother staid outlets with below-par food or outdated collections. The modern mall experience is all about perfection, trendiness and experiences that truly make one feel refreshed, pampered and like they have had their indulgence for the day.
The Online-Offline Sync
Another way, in which the modern mall is a game-changer, is its successful convergence of the physical world of the marketplace with the unbridled expanse of the Internet. Contrary to popular fears, online marketing is not the end of in-person shopping. Instead, both are highly complementary, as online shopping sites drive shoppers to their outlets, not away from them. Modern malls are able to create multi-channel marketing, where the vitality of civic life is captured and augmented by eCommerce.
The future of malls in India lies in shopping centers that are places where consumers access a remarkable and global range of products, while simultaneously socialising and participating in community activities.With modern amenities like digitally savvy brands, zone divisions, convenience and ease of shopping and an array of indoor entertainment. The modern shopper is made to feel at home in a premium mall destination, which is more than just the traditional sum of its stores.
Authored By: Pushpa Bector, Executive Vice President, Head DLF Premium Malls