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Delhi-NCR malls expect increased footfall during Diwali: ASSOCHAM

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The mall owners in Delhi-NCR are expecting an increase of over 100 percent in visitor footfalls during Diwali as retailers along with the consumer durable firms are offering attractive incentives like discounts, free gifts and interest free finance options to increase sales and strengthen consumer confidence, according to a survey by ASSOCHAM Social Development Foundation (ASDF).

The findings of ASSOCHAM, an apex industry body, also revealed that with a few days left for the approaching festival, malls and shopping complexes in Delhi and the National Capital Region have already started registering over 3 percent increase in footfalls.

Commenting on the survey, DS Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM, said: “Malls in and around Delhi are likely to spend anywhere from Rs. 130 crore to150 crore on decoration, including contemporary lighting and promotional campaigns during the festive season that started in the last week of September and will continue till early November.”

Rawat added: “Retailers and consumer durable goods’ makers are expecting an increase of about 45 to 60 percent in the sales during this period.”

The survey involved interactions with 2,500 leasing managers, representatives of malls’ management, strategists, marketers and supervisors in 10 cities, including Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Jaipur, Kolkata, Lucknow and Mumbai. It also included interactions with about 125 shopkeepers, individual store owners in traditional markets of Chandni Chowk, Karol Bagh, Janpath, Sarojini Nagar Market, Lajpat Nagar Central Market, Sunder Nagar, Khan Market, Greater Kailash, Connaught Place and Green Park to ascertain their preparation to lure customers and increase the footfalls in these markets.

About 65 percent of the traders in the traditional markets are resorting on rebates and increasing their product range apart from offering other perks like food coupons and loyalty bonus to tempt the customers and increase their sales. All of them admit there are certain loopholes in security arrangements and appealed the Delhi Government to increase security through intensified patrolling. They also demanded deployment of more security personnel and doorframe metal detectors at crowded sites.

Majority of respondents reckoned that due to skyrocketing inflation coupled with ever-rising fuel prices, interest rates and inflation, the buyers’ confidence was shaken that led to a dip in the footfall by about 15 to 20 percent during the first two quarters of FY 2011-12.

Most of the retailers and consumer durable goods makers said they are confident about brisk business during the third quarter, which has thus increased their overall marketing budget by about 30 to 40 percent for this period alone. Retailers have outlined marketing strategies and promotional activities for offering value-added services to draw crowds and spur sales conversions during the upcoming festive season and these activities are likely to continue till early January. The promotional activities would involve product launches by celebrities, food festivals, mehndi and tattoo workshops by professional artists, cooking competition for women shoppers, exhibitions, gaming contests, tasks for kids and youngsters among other fun activities and sponsoring gift vouchers, gift items like apparels, artificial jewelry, accessories and cosmetics for those who win contests and complete the tasks successfully.

ASSOCHAM suggested frisking, monitoring CCTV camera footage and deployment of paramilitary personnel, commandos, anti-sabotage teams and rapid action forces to maintain vigil and put up barricades for thorough checking of the vehicles at heritage sites, vital installations, major markets, airports, railway stations, parking lots and iconic buildings in the city.

-IndiaRetailing Bureau



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