While growing number of malls in the country are converting into commercial and food and entertainment hubs Viviana Mall, Thane, in the suburb of Mumbai, is standing exceptionally with 99 percent occupancy. Known for its science of zoning and successive strategies, the mall is increasingly becoming centre of attraction for the customers and modern retailers across Mumbai and suburbs. It has been constantly focusing on strategies like customer first, instilling newness with the mix of international, national and local brands, constant focus on consumer friendly activities and regularly working with brands for positioning, events and campaigning to remain upbeat. Talking about the same, Sunil Shroff, CEO, Viviana Mall spoke to Indianretailer.com.
Please tell us about the strategies you have adopted to make Viviana the most successful mall in Mumbai?
We have always believed in customer first strategy and our vision is to everyday create a celebratory environment in Viviana. We make sure that everybody is thinking that way and that’s our strategy for each department and section. We think about the customer and execute our plans. Our customer includes our own team, retailer’s team and our real customers.
We try to inculcate first time culture in the mall. We focus on instilling newness, whether it’s a first or biggest Bata store in India, biggest Cinepolis or first time Forever 21 or Zara entering Thane. Also we have lot of first time restaurants opened in thane such as Copper Chimney, Mainland China, Yellow Chllies and Pizza Express for which customers don’t have to travel far away.
We are not a shopping destination only; we conduct a lot of kid’s activities during our events. Also, we have skating class in the parking area on weekdays and a football playing space where kids from adjoining area can come and play.
We make sure that our customers have a great experience and time, for which we touch the digital aspect. We use social media for customer convenience and marketing activities.
On the structure part we planned that the level of science will be close to 1 million GLA (Gross Leaseable Area). We have focused on every aspect of planning and design with the international expertise. We have lot of international experts advising us. We have the biggest parking lot in Mumbai. Our parking lot capacity is of 2,400 cars across two levels.
With your modern retail, what are the consumer friendly activities that you have adopted and what is the customer flow?
We have always believed in giving through our events and functions. Each of our events has a side of giveaway in the form of gifts based on the shopping category of the person. We have schemes running across seven to eight months in a year in which prices are gifted to customers.
We try to raise our standard whether it is in the form of décor, activity or performance. To make each weekday attractive we have designed a marketing team for peculiar events, like Tuesday is fix for food, Wednesday is for women, Thursday is for games, Friday is for entertainment and Saturday we have rock brand performing.
We receive around 9 to 9.5 lakh customers every month. A good weekend gives us almost 1lakh footfalls.
How much amount of time a consumer spends in the mall and which is the most preferred category?
Maximum number of consumers spends around 21/2 to 4 hours in the mall. Anything above three hours to upto five hours is healthy sign. Our drive always is customer spending more time. Close to 50 percent of our customers come from Thane and rest from other localities or cities. These are well educated, brand conscious people and they know what they want.
Indian ethnic is more in demand, entertainment and food are good drivers, kids apparel and toy section also gets maximum footfall. We have not missed any category, whether they are top most, second most and third most brands in each category.
How do you retain your customers?
Keeping that aspect in mind we emphasis a lot on training and creating more soft touch points for consumer satisfaction. We have tied-up with Terrain wherein we train our retailer’s staff. Terrain is an institute pioneered by B S Nagesh, Chairman of Retailers Association of India. For the past two years we have continued this tie-up.
There is a lot of emphasis on our internal staff for training by in-house and external team. We do lot of external audit to keep ourselves on toes to maintain our standards, which again should relate to customer touch point.
Many malls are converting into commercial and food and entertainment hubs across the country. Is it the same with your mall?
Thankfully we have started off with one of the biggest multiplexes and Family Entertainment Centers (FEC), so we feel that has been an advantage. We are having good flow of F&B outlets across each floor and each level in the form of kiosk, outlets and restaurants. We are also giving more areas to our F&B mix that is what we have tried last year also by adding one or two restaurants and that is helping our customers spend more time with us. We might add a coffee store in one section and a restaurant if we get a chance.
What are your future plans?
We will continue our endeavour for becoming trendier in all our aspects wherever possible. We need to get in what we don’t have, need to relate to our customers for what they want, need to understand whether it’s a point of service or a soft touch point or a retailer in the particular category.