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Oberoi Mall to explore Omnichannel route, to launch premium mixed-use retail projects by 2020

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Envisioned as a fashion and entertainment destination, Oberoi Mall opened its doors for shoppers on April 15, 2008. Situated on the Western Express Highway and with a GLA of 5,50,000 sq. ft., Oberoi Mall has occupied a significant position in the minds of shoppers and retailers alike. In an exclusive interaction with Shopping Centre News, Vice President, Oberoi Mall, Anupam T talks about the journey of the mall and its future prospects.

Oberoi Mall to explore Omnichannel route, to launch premium mixed-use retail projects by 2020
Oberoi mall aims to offer customers the best experience through well-planned shopping zones, which not only ease the search for focused consumers, but also fulfill browsing aspirations of window shoppers

Tell us about the inception of Oberoi Mall. What role has it played in the evolution of modern retail real estate in Mumbai?

By reflecting and enabling consumers’ lifestyles and delivering affordable luxury with a philosophy of ‘customer first’, the Oberoi Mall has distinguished itself as something truly special on the retail landscape. Oberoi Mall has played a central role in the market entry of International brands including Forever 21, Taco Bell, Krispy Kreme, Jack & Jones, GAP, , Burger King, , and . Most of these brands have opened their first store in Mumbai or India in association with us. In the next few months, with refreshed offerings in beauty and wellness, and fashion and accessories categories, Oberoi Mall aims to create new benchmarks for retail real estate in Mumbai.

What were the initial challenges and roadblocks?

Oberoi Mall is located in Goregaon East, which was not considered a great location for a premium shopping mall. The biggest challenge was development of roads, power, and water supply that are absolutely necessary to support a shopping mall like ours. The efforts made by Oberoi Realty in getting the key stakeholders to come together to create the infrastructure needed – including wide access roads, traffic planning, quality power, and water drainage to name a few – was key in the development of Oberoi Mall.

What is the total built-up gross leasable area of the mall?

The mall’s total built up gross leasable area is 5,50,000 sq. ft., the total mall constructed area is 7,00,000 sq. ft. and the mall retail carpet area is 3,30,000 sq. ft.

Tell us about the location strategy of the mall. What is your core catchment area?

Oberoi Mall is strategically located in Goregaon, East on the Western Express Highway. It is a part of the Oberoi Garden City Project. The Oberoi Garden City, a world class residential, commercial and hospitality project is situated nearby, giving the mall an added advantage by supplying a steady stream of affluent and aspirational consumers. Oberoi Mall enjoys nearly a 70 per cent market share of footfalls and retail sales among shopping centers located on the Western Express Highway.

What is the USP/ differentiating factor of Oberoi Mall?

Although only 5,50,000 GLA, which is relatively small in accordance to modern retail size, Oberoi Mall offers a complete shopping, dining, and entertainment experience for both families and individuals alike. The mall has a six-screen multiplex, an 800+ seater multi-cuisine food court, and a variety of fine dine restaurants to choose from. It also houses most major national and international brands, completing the mall going experience.

How has Oberoi Mall been zoned?

Oberoi mall aims to offer customers the best experience through well-planned shopping zones, which not only ease the search for focused consumers, but also fulfill browsing aspirations of window shoppers.

The ground floor is dedicated to high fashion, beauty & wellness and accessories with stores like Zara, Lifestyle, GAP, Forever 21, The Body Shop, Swarovski, , Kama Ayurveda, Jack & Jones, Vero Moda, and ONLY.

The first floor offers a mix of men’s wear and unisex fashion combined with accessories and electronics. Stores like Arrow, Allen Solly, Van Heusen, Zodiac, Raymond, Croma, Paver’s England, Metro, INC 5 and more can be found on this level.

The second floor is dedicated to women’s wear and kids fashion. It also houses home durables. Stores like Label – by Ritu Kumar, AND, Global Desi, Mineral, 109 F, Mothercare, Barbie, United Colors of Benetton – Kids, Tommy Hilfiger – Kids, Accessorize, and Hidesign are situated here.

The third floor completes the experience by offering food and entertainment. British Brewing Company, Goregaon Social, Olive Bistro, Maharaja Bhog, Multi Cuisine Food court, PVR – Cinemas and NAMCO Family Entertainment Centre are all on this floor.

Let’s talk about the retail mix of Oberoi Mall.

Oberoi Mall’s retail mix is planned in a way that there’s something for everyone who visits. The mall has an exciting mix of fashion and accessories – which contribute to 65 per cent of the mall’s area. Then there is F&B, and leisure and entertainment which comprise 35 per cent of the mall‘s mix. So basically, there are anchor stores, which constitute 46 per cent of the mall and the balance – 64 per cent – are flagships and inline formats.

What are the anchor and mini anchor stores in your mall? Tell us about the key vanilla retailers of your mall?

ANCHORS: Zara, Lifestyle, Central, PVR – Cinemas and NAMCO -Family Entrainment Centre

MINI ANCHORS: Croma, Forever 21, GAP, .

KEY VANILLA RETAILERS: Tanishq, Vero Moda, ONLY, Jack & Jones, AND, Global desi, Esbeda, Hidesign, Accessorize, Cottonworld, , Nalli, Jashn, Nike, Adidas, Unicorn.

KEY F&B BRANDS: Olive Bistro, British Brewing Co., Maharaja Bhog Thali, , Starbucks, Taco Bell, Burger King, McDonald’s, KFC, and Moshe’s.

What precautions do you take before leasing out to retailers? What, according to you, are the dos and don’ts for creating the right brand mix?

Before finalizing any brand, first its need in the existing brand mix is evaluated. Post that, the promoter company’s background, its global presence, performance at other locations is checked. All these factors assist to get a better understanding of the value add that the brand will bring to the mall.

We do check the category representation and the necessity of the brand in our existing mix so that we do not over populate the category.

What kind of revenue model do you share with your tenants?

The mall operates on a revenue sharing basis along with fixed rentals. Most of our tenants pay us revenues over and above fixed rentals.

What kind of a setup do you have for regional or local retailers in your malls? As a mall developer, how do you propose to promote these indigenous brands?

The mall has always encouraged local/regional retailers like , Nalli, Maroosh, Games – The Shop, , and to name a few. Going by current trends, Oberoi Mall management believes that food should be GLOCAL, while fashion needs to be a healthy mix of local, regional as well as international brands. Entertainment must be contemporary and the best in class, according to us.

Please tell us about the design aspect of Oberoi Mall? What have you done to minimize dead spaces?

Oberoi Mall has been designed by Bentel & Associates of South Africa, one of the best-known architects in shopping centre design globally. The premium design aesthetics and material standard of the mall ensures a best-in-class environment for a complete family shopping experience.

The architecture and design of the mall is internationally styled and achieves an elegant ambience, providing the retailer an ideal platform for his brand and the customers a unique holistic shopping experience also Oberoi Mall does not have any dead spaces.

Tell us about any new additions that you have made to the mall.

Oberoi Mall is often talked about for the changes it embraces and the new offerings it provides for its customers. With latest additions like Social, Swarovski, Zara, Fossil, NAMCO, Olive, Nature’s Basket, the mall has proved that it’s one of the most happening places in the town.

What are your views on FDI & GST in the real estate sector?

FDI in retail surely helps improve the availability of retail brand universe, thus resulting in higher occupancy and rents in shopping malls. Not only that, from a consumer’s perspective it helps to increase the excitement resulting in greater engagement and footfalls for a mall. It also has a positive impact on employment and economic growth of a country. GST for real estate will minimize the various tax imposed on us. The rate is 12 per cent for real estate while the rate varies for retailer depending on the products. It is a welcome move by the Government of India and will bring an organized scenario in the industry. The introduction of GST from July 1, 2017, will certainly prove to be a game changer for the real estate and retail markets in the long term.

Any plans to go Omnichannel like a lot of other malls have now?

We are currently evaluating and exploring the Omnichannel route. We hope to move on this very soon.

Tell us about your upcoming projects? What are your expansion plans? Any plans to enter Tier II & III cities?

Oberoi Realty is planning to expand its retail offerings by providing high quality retail experience along with its premium residential projects. Quality retail and quality residence always complement each other. While retail increases the livability quotient for residences, residences help bring the right audience to the mall. Oberoi Realty is venturing into new premium mixed-use retail projects in Borivili and Worli. While Borivili will be a suburban premium mall, Worli will be positioned as premium shopping hub. We aim to launch the Worli project by Financial Year, 2019-2020.