India's First Premium Destination Mall offers International Shopping Experience to visitors

Retail is undergoing a massive makeover both in its online and offline format. New malls are all set to raise the bar by bringing in premium brands and a differentiated shopping experience under one roof. A case in point is the DLF Mall of India (MoI) that houses a unique assortment of 350 brands, a 7 star DT Cinema and exciting food courts that can seat 1,000 hungry customers at the same time! In short, it has all the ingredients to make a trip to the mall fun, fruitful and memorable.

The NCR can get ready to brace itself for the ultimate shopping experience. The sprawling two million sq ft of retail area at the DLF Mall of India, Noida, is brimming with brands that are a hit with every kind of shopper. Whether itshigh end or high street shopping experienceone is hankering for or someone who loves being self-indulgent, there’s surely a brand from the list of 350 that will please the innate shopper in everyone. National, international and local labels co-exist because there’s never a thing as “too much variety”. MoI also has many firsts to its credit. To offer an unmatched experience, it has strategically allotted 40 per cent of the total mall area to food and entertainment zones. It’s also the first to introduce the concept of “zoning” in India.

A destination mall finally arrives…
It undeniably takes a lot to please the mall rats who have been privy to the retail revolution. No one understands this demanding, well-heeled consumer better than MoI and in response, it has taken all the care to offer a superlative shopping and entertainment experience. For the first time, Noida will see the entry of brands like Zara, GAP, Forever 21, Forever New, Chumbak, Aeropostale, H&M, Superdry, Ritu Kumar, Anita Dongre, SodaBottleOpenerWala, Hamleys, Wendy’s, Carl’s Jr, Punjabi by Nature quickie among several others in the buzzing shopping district of Sector 18. This is a sure-shot delight for the discerning Delhi NCR based residents who will now not need to venture too far from home in search of their beloved brands.

Shedding more light on the assortment of brands on offer, Pushpa Bector, Executive Vice President & Head, DLF Mall of India said, “This is the only mall in India with 350 brands including 18 anchors, a host of vanilla brands and 80 plus kiosks that will be up soon. This takes the total to a whopping 430 brands and identifies us as a destination mall.”

Apart from the customers, retail brands have been equally pleased with the facilities on offer at the mall. Mall of India has introduced unique design elements such as the ‘Racetrack Atrium’ to offer outstanding visibility to all store fronts. All the floors are well connected with more than 80 escalators, one express escalator, and revolutionary revelators for the comfort and convenience of the visitors.

MoI has also incorporated Digital Video Walls all over the mall for brands to announce new launches, promote their offerings and keep it visually exciting. Here, a brand can also book, block, auction, receive invoices, make online payments and acquire gate passes for BTL activations and hiring space through the BTL booking portal. In addition, the mall  willlaunch an ingenious mobile app that provides an integrated navigation system.

International Boulevard- offering a global experience
Behind the success of every mall is a winning retail mix. To this effect, experts say that effective zoning yields the maximum return. In this system, the mall allots floors on the basis of category. Research shows that the concept is bound to hit the sales of retailers located on the upper floors by up to 50 per cent.But DLF’s MoI is geared to use it to its advantage. In an industry-first, the mall captures zoning to create a well-segregated space for 18 anchor brands like Forever 21, Lifestyle, Big Bazaar, DT Star Cinemas and others, followed by a list of vanilla brands spread out on the lower ground, ground, first, second and third floors while the fourth is reserved for celebrated culinarybrands.

According to the international zoning concept, the ground floor of a mall demands the highest rentals and receives the maximum footfalls. So, these are allotted to fashion and international brands. DLF MoI has adopted the equivalent of this international practice and the ground and first level have been labelled as the‘International Boulevard’. This area, boasting of a string of best of International fashion & beauty brands spreads across 6 lakh sq ft GLA as confirmed by the Executive Director & Mall Head, Pushpa Bector. “It’s way bigger than the existing malls,” she adds.

International Boulevardhas been allotted to global leading names in the world of fashion including Marks and Spencer, GAP, Forever 21, Zara, Lifestyle, Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, Pantaloons, United Colors of Benetton and others. The vanilla brands present in the International Boulevard include Promod, Charles & Keith, La Senza, Bebe, Guess et al. The interesting template followed by DLF MoI puts it at par with international malls like VivoCity Mall in Singapore, Mall of the Emirates, and The Dubai Mall etc. The well-organised layout creates a clean and easily navigable area that’s equal parts interesting and innovative.

Younger, Fresher and More Innovative
In keeping with DLF’s  international look and feel, brands have gone that extra mile to refresh their visual merchandising design, appeal and format of the store to keep it young yet sophisticated. Costa Coffee, for instance makes an entry in a new, never-seen-before avatar. Likewise, stores like Anokhi and AND have developed innovative concepts and design highlights to add an element of interest. These stores have installed more LED lights and intercreative signage to create a sense of drama and recreate the idea of a superlative shopping experience inside the store. Stores like H&M and Lifestyle are the largest fit-out formats with H&M 73,087 sq ft and Lifestyle 1, 05,397 sq ft area of rejuvenating retail therapy.

Speaking about the design concept of the Max store at the MoI, Vasanth Kumar, Executive Director of Lifestyle International’s Max Retail Division said, “Now with the digital enabling of stores at MoI, we can showcase all the events in every store simultaneously. We can even go for a webcast.”

This brings to the fore MoI’s thorough understanding of consumer preferences and its proactive approach to creating a “retail connect”. The empowered digital audience today seeks an interactive interface that’s exciting and engaging and MoI stirs things up by increasingly adopting digital formats that are not only sure to garner accolades but also cut ground with the pickiest of shoppers.

To know the story first hand, Retailer Media speaks to the Executive Director & Mall Head, Pushpa Bector.

What is the inception story of DLF Mall of India?
To begin with, we launched the project with1.93 million sq ft area. Till about three years back, we had our doubts about making the best use of this massive space. But as we started developing the project, we realised that food and entertainment as a category has the potential to be the biggest revenue spinner. So, we decided to rope in more brands and dedicate a substantial 40 per cent of the space for food giants and entertainment avenues. We brought in the 7 Star DT Cinema to delight the movie goers after a long day of shopping and allow them to revel in culinary delights at a food court that’s big enough to accommodate 1,000 customers at a time. The beauty of the project was that as we progressed and the idea took concrete shape, the market expanded considerably. In short, the conditions were just right to welcome the largest destination mall in India.

Why you have chosen this location?
We are strategically located at Sector 18, Noida. The address suits us best because it’s centrally located and not out of the way for anyone. The customers will find the mall very accessible via the DND; same goes for other parts of the NCR too. There’s a lot to keep visitors happily occupied with a plethora of shopping brands and entertainment options. Besides, a location that’s free of traffic jams and unnecessary hassles makes a huge difference.

You have introduced Zoning for the first time in India. Tell us more about it?
Each level at MoI has been segregated into different zones. For instance,the need for grocery and everyday staples can be met at the marketplace at the lower ground floor that’s spread across 3.5 lakh sq ft area. The second level which we call, ‘The High Street’ is spread across 2.8 lakh sq ft GLA. High Street houses popular brands like Lifestyle, Pantaloons, Splash, IAM IN etc. The Third level, the ‘Family World’, covers 2.7 lakh sq ft GLA and hosts a selection of brands with 25 dining options for families. Then, we have ‘Leisure Land’ which redefines the concept of indoor entertainment with unique and large scale gaming concepts like Smaaash, Ski India (indoor snow gaming park) and Funcity.

What are the benefits you would be offering to those opening muti-unit stores at MoI?
We believe in nurturing strong relationships. We don’t offer any bulk discounts to tenants. On the contrary, we fit the best brand at the most suitable location to create a win-win for both the parties.

What is the tenure of contract with brands in your mall?
For vanilla brands, we renew the contract every 5-6 years. For mini anchors, the tenure is 9 years and for anchors, the maximum lease period is 12 years. We believe in regularly updating the mall with fresh brands. 

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