Retailer: There are several mall developers setting up projects currently. However, how do differentiate yourself and what are the ingredients for setting up ‘the best’ mall?
Pushpa Bector: Over the last 10 years or so, the consumer’s shopping behavior has evolved, and malls have become a onestop-
shop for meeting their needs. Today, consumers buy their daily groceries, clothes and allied products at malls, as well as enjoy the range of entertainment options offered here.
Clearly, a mall must have relevant offerings for the entire family, in terms of a right mix of brands and services offered, in a bid to ensure their relevance.
Apart from that, innovative consumer engagement campaigns and programs also help to ensure that a mall is well connected with its target consumers.
Retailer: Malls are being constantly transformed to ensure their relevance. Kindly share your views to run a successful mall?
PB: Clearly, understanding the consumer is key for any developer and at the same time, a mall must try to be innovative,
in terms of facilities and layouts offered. In addition, allied facilities like parking and safety measures are also important.
I would like to highlight that this process should start at the construction stage of a property, in terms of the strategic plan
to be implemented and to also ensure adequate footfalls across the entire mall.
And, as part of this process, a mall should be developed with appropriate size, keeping in mind the catchment area’s projected consumption, creating distinctive features and allied infrastructure facilities. It would also be appropriate to establish a long-term partnership with key tenants and consumers at this property via various engagement programmes.
Retailer: The retail sector has been cyclical, and how have you fared over the past 12 months. Also, throw light on the growth opportunities over the next one year?
PB: The retail sector was broadly optimistic over the past 12 months and existing malls did show strong growth. Also, the steps taken by the government to enhance FDI inflows in this sector are welcome and it has helped to bring greater momentum to this sector.
It is widely anticipated that a number of foreign players will set up shop here and that should support demand for high quality
mall space here.
DLF is also expected to make operational the DLF Mall of India at Noida in the last quarter of 2013, and it will more than
double our retail mall portfolio, from the current 1.4 million sq ft (GLA) to 3.2 million sq ft.
Retailer: The retail sector has evolved considerably, starting from small and then premium, and now luxury is the focus. Your views on these sectoral developments?
PB: Malls attempt to cater to the needs of those who are moving up the value and income chain, as well as the well heeled
consumers, in terms of brands and services offered.
And, as the disposable income of consumers’ increases, his tastes and preferences also mature, and a mall must be appropriately equipped. Malls can ensure this by creating the right balance of tenant brands, coupled with an appropriate shopping experience.
The churn in the country’s retail sector has also ushered in the multi-brand and all-underone- roof concept, as well as the specialty mall option.
MALL DEVELOPERS NEED TO COMBINE TECHNOLOGY, BRANDS
AND STORE LAYOUTS FOR CREATINGWORLD-CLASS PROPERTIES.”