Shopping festivals, a new trend in Malls
Shopping festivals have become the talk of the town and mall developers are leaving no stone unturned to encourage maximum footfalls at their swanky malls and attract potential retailers too. Given the rapid mall development across the country, we caught up with a few mall developers to understand their vision regarding the same.
Shopping festivals have not only become the star attraction at malls but have also offered to be a potential business opportunity, giving the desired fillip to business, trade and commerce. Making available, a plethora of national/international brands – all under one roof, mall developers are cashing in on big time when it comes to organizing and indulging into shopping festivals.
Mall developers’ role
Mall developers surely have a huge role to play as they are the organizers and the initiative is taken by them in the first place. Mr Sandeep Kapoor, Managing Director Relio Quick India Pvt. Ltd., Event Managers for Gurgaon Shopping festival comments, “The objective behind these kind of shopping festivals is to provide the shoppers a world class shopping experience close to their vicinity and also to boost the travel and tourism trade, as these type of shopping festivals attract people from around the world.”
He also makes an interesting point when he opines that shopping festivals stimulate business which actually helps the budding brands to step into the corporate world as they get direct exposure with the consumers, retailers. Ms Pushpa Bector, Vice-President, DLF Promenade comments, “The mall developers are contributing their best for the Shopping fest as all the decorations and advertising of the festival are being taken care of by them.”
“DLF wanted to create a unique opportunity for our retail partners, wherein, we could provide them with a platform, where they could not only maximize on the sale season, but also attract shoppers who have rarely or never come to DLF Malls. We wanted to showcase our malls to the NCR region, and ensure with the quality of experience and environment we provide, they keep on coming back to our malls and we become their preferred shopping destinations,” avers Mr Arindam Kunar, VP DLF Place, Saket.
Sales and expected footfalls
Increasing sales and footfalls is always on the mind of the retailers and mall developers alike since both are inter-dependent. When we talk about the Gurgaon Shopping Festival, it is expected to draw footfalls of 1 lakh per day. The footfall number is justified, given the dates around which the festival is being organised, running parallel to the Common Wealth Games 2010. Mr Kapoor opines, “The Gurgaon Shopping Festival (GSF) will perhaps be the biggest shopping festival of India, where 15 malls of Gurgaon are participating together offering a plethora of National / International brands. Secondly, we will ensure everyone has something in the GSF 2010 of his interest, be it discounted brands, lucky draws, cuisine or kids centric activities etc etc. Besides, over 15 carnivals and festivals will take place during the expo.”
Mr Kunar adds, “We have created the festival and its activities purely to enhance sales. It’s a strategic decision to ensure all our events and activities are sales driven. Indeed, sales have increased. The look and feel of the Mall has obviously been enhanced to create a festival look, but that is to create a pleasant and happy atmosphere in the mall.”
Theme based festivals
Consumers look forward to theme based events and festivals like Teej as during such festivals families tend to go out for an outing. Thus, these festivals possess high tendency to catch the attention of the target audience and also be a hit at the same time. Mr Kunar opines, “The idea for our malls to conduct such events is to engage with our catchments areas and our regular shoppers to provide them new and exciting options and a reason to be in the malls. We create some activity along with these events which people like and participate and at the same time bring in new and interesting relevant elements of shopping in the form of carts, stalls which provide for a one stop solution for our customers.”
“The theme based festivals are catching up very fast especially after the mall culture arrived in India. For example on Teej and Karwachauth, women throng the malls and petty retailers selling bangles, cosmetics or even a mehandiwala do a huge business. One can see this trend live at the Gurgaon Shopping Festival, where the largest Karwachauth celebration will be done,” adds Mr Kapoor.
Retailers, any day get benefited by such large scale shopping festivals as the footfall is huge during shopping festivals and they always look forward to participate in these festivals. When it comes to selecting prospective retailers, Mr Kunar states, “The procedure is very simple and elementary. We made a detailed presentation to all our tenants, and we urged them to participate in the same, based on our basic minimum requirements of offering the special offer which our festival partner Citibank wanted. Along with the same, we also urged our partners to participate in providing gifts, awards, rewards etc, which all tenants happily did.”
Ms Bector adds, “All the retailers are equally important for us. We welcome them all to participate in such festivals as it also helps them boost their sales. We appreciate the overwhelming response of our retailers. The success of the festival depends on the participation of retailers. More the number of participating retailers more successful is the shopping festival.”
At the end, it must be understood that the business operates in the spirit of making it a successful and a mutually beneficial arrangement – both for the mall developers and the retailers, very much inclusive of the target audience in context.