In mall, entertainment has grown significantly as a pull factor. Ever wondered why these are seldom located at the ground level of a mall? Are they not crowd pullers? Ain’t these entertainment providers garnering enough revenues to pay the higher rentals to be better placed in a mall? Is business not faring well? Or is it the other way round?
The answer to this is a yes and a no. As Benu Sehgal, Mall Head, For DLF Place, Saket puts it, “A mall needs retention and retention cannot be brought in my shopping alone. So these entertainment spots work well for a mall in that case.”
Entertainment in a mall caters to a noteworthy share for a mall’s mix. It has now become imperative to have an entertainment centre for a mall’s success. The space being leased out to them is growing day by day. Be it a gaming centre for kinds, attraction for the young ones or a multiplex, it sure is in a demanding position today. Giving figures Bappaditya Basu, Senior Vice President - Retail Services, Jones Lang LaSalle India “If the mall is entertainment driven, regional mall, or a mall of more than 1.2 million sq feet, the entertainment is generally is about 20 to 30 per cent. But with the size smaller, in the heart of the city, where creating foot fall is not a problem, mall entertainment centres are less that 10 per cent of the leasable area.” At DLF Place, Saket, at least five per cent and at most 15 per cent space is reserved for entertainment. For Inorbit, this begins at three to five per cent and goes up to seven to nine per cent.
Usually a gaming centre or a play area for kids is located at the higher levels in a mall. Also some prefer to use the verandah area for activities for kids. The reason for them being thrown in the upper shacks is that their structure and the amount of noise created hamper the shopping experience for some. Also dedicated entertainment zones require larger space which obviously comes at a price, which evidently is very high at the ground or lower level. Agreeing Basu, says, “These centres are not impulse driven, they are planned purchase and it usually needs huge height, which can’t be given in lower floors.” Sehgal adds, “These areas are created at around food court or go shopping areas. This gives the patrons a chance to be easy and leave their kids to play.”
Giving a different perspective, Kishor Bhatija, CEO, Inorbit Mall says, “Entertainment is used to channel footfall to the higher floors, which typically otherwise would not attract large footfall which is also not a conducive level for fashion retailing.”
These centers do in a certain way drive footfalls, even though these are not high enough. Parents feel at ease as they can leave their kids under guidance in these centres and go ahead with hassle free retail therapy. Multiplexes attract people of all ages while spas and salons work well with the ladies. Sehgal tells, “Activities like kiddyland, a video game parlor, bowling, etc are good attention seekers.”
Weekends usually draw more people as compared to weekdays as people have more leisure time to enjoy the entertainment portfolio. Basu reiterates, “Weekends are generally thrice the week days. Also summer holidays and public holidays are time when they are occupied the most. We found though our experience that both entertainment-oriented shoppers and cross-shoppers are seeking furn and enjoyment through their mall activities, whereas shoppers pursing particular goods and services are generally not drawn to entertainment activities. In addition to their retail preferences, today’s generation wants entertainment such as movie theatres, taverns and night’s clubs, a better selection of restaurants and a spa. They wants amusement rides and attractions like ice skating rinks, roller rinks or a swimming pool, possibly thinking of their children while they are shopping. Regardless of the shopping motivations, positive experiences translate into a higher probability of repeat business and that entertainment can be part of an effective strategy to increase visits and shopping centre profitability.” For DLF Place, Saket, on weekends the number of visitors increase by 10-15 per cent because of these areas while at Inorbit, offerings would pull around 7,000 people on weekdays and around 12,000 on weekends.
Activities in order or preference
Based on a consumer survey
Footfalls mean revenues. The greater the footfalls, the greater are the revenues. Fridays usually cater to the opening of a movie and hence weekends call for house full shows. Weekends are also free time for parents to get their kids to malls for an outing and an opportunity for them to shop. So entertainment centres is what attracts them to spend a good family day together. Basu tells, “My experience with Prozone at Auragabad, GIP at Noida, Infinity at Malad, is that seven per cent of mall customers primary purpose for coming to the mall is FEC. Twenty per cent of customers who come primarily for the FEC also cross-shops in the mall's other stores. They spend about 75 per cent of the amount that shoppers coming primarily for shopping spent. Customers who visit mall entertainment centres are more likely to be visiting as a family with children of 12 years and younger against only 20 per cent of mall customers who did not visit the FEC. Seventy per cent of families that visits the mall also visits the FEC.”
Sehgal tells, “Mostly seven per cent activities are reserved each for kids and youngsters but at times we prefer giving more space to youngster related in-mall entertainment. Obviously a bowling game generates more revenue than a kiddyland.”
Bhatija adds, “Generally, the revenue from such initiatives is not very big in India and at Inorbit, some of the activities are community initiatives and engage with the customers. Hence the question about how much place and time should be allotted for such activities within the mall is a challenging one and has to be balanced.”
Every mall owner has a different perception for their entertainment centres and this usually revolves round the mall’s location and the clientele it is catering to. Whatever be the reason they opt for entertainment activities, if not for revenues then for the footfalls, they cannot do without them.
|Mall||Kids vs youngsters||Footfalls||Area dedicated||Activities||Location|
|DLF Place, Saket||Youngsters||Incresae of 10-15%||5-15%||Kiddyland, video game parlor, bowling||Around food areas|
|Inorbit||Kids||7,000 on weekdays, 12,000 on weekends.||7-9%||Community Initiatives, Kids centre, live young band performances||
Upper floors around food areas