New Trends In Mall Space Optimization

Mall culture in India and especially in Delhi & NCR has grown with an incredible pace over the last few years.
Kulbhushan Talwar, GM, Shipra Mall

Mall culture in India and especially in Delhi & NCR has grown with an incredible pace. Just a few years back, people had to make a choice among shopping, movies or hanging out on a holiday but thanks to our malls, all these jobs can be performed at the same time, under the same roof and that too with an amazing experience. And it is basically the experience and not the intention that counts when it comes to malls.
But very recently the widespread e-commerce market almost captured most of the shoppers nowadays, where traditional malls are slightly running on the slower side. The retail industry in India is currently estimated at $205 billion, which is likely to grow at a rate of five percent per annum in the coming years.
To keep the momentum going, here are few of the steps that should be focused on to revive the Mall culture in full swing:

Divide into areas
Deliberately spreading out similar stores, in hopes of keeping shoppers in the mall for a long while is becoming stagnant. So the focus has shifted to convenience that new strategy is referred to as “Divide into areas”. In the new set-up, the mall should be full of little neighborhoods of like stores so that a shopper can hit all their favorite outposts quickly and easily not only the stores but amenities such as children’s playgrounds and family bathrooms are also designed this way. 

Dining deck
Mall dining doesn’t precisely have a glamorous reputation.  At many shopping centers, it’s little more than a sea of tables and bumpy metal chairs enclosed by a ring of fast-food joints. The “dining deck” is meant to differentiate it from a typical food court. The thought is that the dining deck is more than a place to scarf down food:  It’s premeditated to be a place where you might camp out with your laptop or linger with friends. In an era when you might be purchasing more of your clothes and electronics on the Web, the hope is that set-ups like this one will persuade consumers to think of the mall as not just a shopping center, but a community hangout.

Parking innovations
Parking is another position where it’s important to shave time off shopping trips.  At many of its malls, the company is implementing a parking system where when shoppers first arrive, they can easily witness how many spaces are accessible on each garage level. Once inside, a system of sensor-powered lights will guide customers to empty spaces. In many of its renovations and new properties, escalators should be supplementary to parking garages.  

Keep people on the move
“Vertical transport” like escalators and elevators should not be in large numbers.  If it’s beyond the limit, it tends to be less convenient and therefore potentially disturbing the mindset of the customer.

Recognize and incorporate customer’s tastes:
Mall operators believe that to see off e-commerce competition, they have to make a trip to their shopping center a singular, memorable experience.  Part of creating that distinctive mall experience is in analyzing the design details that will be comfortable and inviting to each mall’s clientele. It used to be that malls were designed and built relatively the same, and you could reuse some of the materials and the plans that you had used on other properties. From the floor materials to the color palette, each mall gets its own look. This lighting stuff brings a contemporary touch to an otherwise traditional space.

To stay associated:
Many of the couches and chairs at respective Malls now come equipped with electrical outlets and USB ports to allow customers to charge cellphones, tablets and other devices. It’s essential to build out wifi offerings throughout so that customers can connect to their network from the moment they reach the parking lot.  Research shows that most customers today are what’s known in the industry as “omnichannel shoppers” they like to browse and buy both in-store and online. By making it easy for customers to use their gadgets in the mall, it will allow shoppers to intermingle the digital and physical shopping experiences, perhaps by using mobile vouchers, comparing prices online or posting a dressing room selfie of a new outfit.

 

This article was authored by Kulbhushan Talwar, General Maganger, Shipra Mall, a venture of Shipra Group.

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