DLF has pioneered the retail revolution in India. Trailblazing and forever transforming the landscape, DLF presented DLF Avenue-a first-of-its-kind social and retail space in the capital that aims at ‘unmalling’ the quintessential mall experience and values quality over quantity.
It is a tastefully designed space where community experiences people are passionate about converge to become social currency. ‘DLF Avenue’ is the first of its kind concept where the retail and pulsating food and beverage scenes are cleverly bridged. ‘DLF Avenue’ offers many firsts in its category. And the recent addition to this mall is Commons – a dedicated F&B space.
Commons At DLF Avenue, Saket
Commons, spread across three floors, hosts the most popular restaurants, bars, and cafes. This curation thrives to give the audience a truly tasteful fulfilling dining experience and eyes to make food the new fashion.
It’s a place that offers a new perspective on dining and umpteen reasons to revisit and get pleasantly surprised. Commons boasts of restaurants like The Big Chill Café, Chili’s, Café Delhi Heights, Laid Back Café, Mai Bao, Sibang Bakery, Fio Pop, Hey Cha, Ping’s Orient Café, Savya Rasa, Costa Coffee, Chaayos, Barbeque Nation, Smokehouse Deli, Mahabelly, Canabeans, and Cinnabon.
Elaborating on the USP of the Commons, Pushpa Bector, Executive Director, DLF Retail says, “The idea was to give a new age identity to this mall, and therefore we created a space that is now attracting the millennials. Commons is Delhi's first dedicated F&B district hosting the most popular restaurants and cafes. We also wanted to bust the myth of putting F&B on the second or top floor, and therefore went with the idea of having the F&B on the ground floor. We have 34 brands here and we have dedicated 38-39 percent of the entire space to this segment. We want people to come here, work during the day, pick up lunch, and create a cool hang-out spot. From a cuisine point of view, we have covered most of the cuisines, and the curation here is more experiential.”
Commons features a one-of-a-kind space - The Social Steps. It is an urban architectural element designed for quick catch-ups, lazy hangouts, casual meetings, or whatever strikes consumer’s fancy. Together, making an elevated social experience, where everyone wants to gather and be seen.
“At DLF retail, we understand that retail experience is not just about the physical space but it is the overall experience that matters. Our objective would always be to bring the experiences that the customers have never witnessed before and to create a world-class retail space for them,” adds Bector.
Impact of Pandemic
With increasing consumer confidence and the pent-up demand post lifting of lockdown, malls are coming back to normalcy.
“We have reached close to 80 percent sales of pre-COVID days till now. The sales had increased to 35 percent during this festive season. In festive months, we saw both luxury and premium malls doing comparatively well. The food and beverage space which was impacted the most during the lockdown also saw an increase in demand. The spend per footfall has risen. It has gone up by 160-170 percent which means the customer is spending more per visit because there is focused shopping, and focused dining,” states Bector.
Returning to normalcy is a long-driven path and it is correlated to the Coronavirus vaccine. Gradually customer decisions and sentiments are changing with the vaccine announcement and enrolment. With customers being more conscious and aware of health and hygiene concerns, it has been the top priority for the malls to provide them with a safe and hygienic shopping environment.
“By following stringent hygiene protocols and social distancing norms, we were able to win the trust of our consumers which could be seen in the rise in footfalls. Customers have started coming back to the malls for shopping, entertainment, and dining experience. Retailers have been quite optimistic about the future. We are already seeing a recovery and clocking numbers close to pre-COVID times and are hoping to perceive positive growth by mid-2021,” she asserts.
When the country and businesses were reeling under the economic impact in the Covid-19 hit year, DLF retail further strengthened its leadership position and has brought in 130 new brands in its retail offering.
Digital Makeover Amid Pandemic
DLF Retail adopted several measures to ensure that the customers have a safe and secure shopping environment in the malls.
“The DLF Shop safe module was launched on the DLF Malls Lukout app. The module gave the customers the ability to book slots to visit any of the DLF Malls while giving them live footfall information from the malls. The customers can view the current footfall trend of the mall and make a well-informed decision of visiting the property,” shares Bector.
“Another feature was Shop Assist which gives customers the ability to directly communicate with mall concierge on a single touch. They can chat on Whatsapp/ call the concierge for availing personal shopping assistance. The assigned shopping assistant can enable the customers to have a video/ audio call with the concerned brand and help make the purchase seamlessly. The orders are then available for a curbside pickup from a dedicated spot at the mall entrances from where the customer can pick up the order without entering the premises,” she further adds.