Flea Market. The term is new but the concept, certainly not. For a country like India where unity among diversity has been the USP for centuries, the idea of a flea market appears to be ‘old wine with a brand new label’.
Officially launched by Select CITYWALK in the national capital, the ‘flea by night’ flea market is only weeks old. In an interview with Indiaretailing, Rajiv Duggal, CEO, Select CITYWALK discusses how the concept has fared so far. Excerpts.
IR: What motivated you to come up with the concept of flea market?
RD: Flea market is not new across the world. You name a major city, they have it. Our initiative in India comes with what we have seen globally. It has been observed that tourists generally prefer flea markets.
Back home, Delhi did not really have an organised flea market, (yes we have Delhi Haat but it is limited only to crafts and other products on the same line). Hence the idea is to develop tourism in Delhi.
IR: Do you expect new players following the idea?
RD: They are most welcome, but I feel that there cannot be multiple flea markets in one city. If there exists one such centre in a city, it automatically gets recognition as a tourist spot.
IR: You also keep changing your format every week….
RD: A shopping centre must be able to give various flavours. Consumers that you have in your retail space are mostly fixed, from the same catchment area. Hence, to keep motivating people to come back, you must try to give them non-commercial or non-branded retail products.
This may include old books, silver jewellery, paper works and other unique and interesting products.
Moreover, it is necessary that the products offered in the flea market should not compete with what is available in the retail stores within the mall.
IR: Sounds like a CSR activity…
RD: No. We are very proud of our CSR activity but it is not in that domain. Flea market is a pure marketing strategy.
IR: You organise flea on every Wednesday. Any specific reason for choosing Wednesday?
RD: The crowd on Monday and Tuesday is heavy and it is heavier from Friday onwards. Wednesday remains a pretty dry day in terms of footfalls. Hence we decided on Wednesday.
IR: Do you feel that flea is a must?
RD: Certainly. Besides emerging as a tourists’ spot which ultimately brings additional footfalls, flea market provides a flavour of unorganised and non-branded retail of the region.
IR: How has been your experience so far?
RD: Our first flea witnessed footfalls of over 8,500 people and most of them also came to the mall.
Alternately, some of our mall visitors also visited the flea. Hence flea is serving the purpose of getting additional footfalls in our mall.
IR: Who are your target footfalls?
RD: At first, women from South Delhi as they are the one who come so often but flea also attracts people from other parts of Delhi and NCR. Once it is well established, I would also expect foreign tourists visiting Delhi to also become part of the flea because they are familiar with this concept all over the world.