Ishanya, which was launched four and a half years back as a specialty home and interiors mall in Pune, will soon become a lifestyle centre. Developed, maintained, and operated by Deepak Fertilisers and Petrochemicals, the mall is spread across a built up area of 10 acres and has a gross leasable area of 6,00,000 sq.ft.
Talking about the planned change, Ajoy Krishnamurti, CEO, Ishanya, said: “Ishanya which was launched as a destination to shop for home décor is undergoing a complete transformation adding more categories, more stores, and more brands. Ishanya will look like a European high street and will be more vibrant, out-doorsy, with cafes and bistros that spill out in open, flea markets and family entertainment options, apart from diverse fashion and accessory brands, hypermarket, and department stores. Major changes have been made in the design of the mall to give it an international look by adding features like Clock Tower, Wishing Well, and Bridge.”
Additional features added for the visitors are open air seating under umbrella’s and awning’s, double height stores on both sides of the street, visible store fronts opening straight on the streets , and kiosks configured around open courtyard. Almost 83 percent of the stores will be accessible from the ground floor.
The mall has a multilevel parking managed by Central Parking Services which can accommodate1,000 and 500 four-wheelers and two-wheelers, respectively. There is an eight-screen multiplex provided by Cinepolis and 150 stores spread across ground plus three levels. The mall has two entries and exit points and 20 lifts and elevators provided by Otis.
The large size of the mall has been cited as the major reason behind changing Ishanya from specialty mall to lifestyle centre. “A particular concept can handle a particular catchment and once you realize the exact amount of sales and consumption, you get to know how much of space is required to be able to do justice to it. Ishanya when launched was too big in size to be developed as just a specialty home and interiors centre. Considering the place where Ishanya is located, it could have comfortably sustained an area of about 2,00,000 sq.ft. as a speciality centre. Hence, after transformation, we have restricted it to that area. The other major constraint faced earlier was- as a specialty centre, other categories could not be included in the brand mix. Under the transformation, the remaining 4,00,000 sq.ft. will be occupied by other categories like lifestyle retail, F&B, entertainment, and so on,” said Krishnamurti.
When Ishanya was first launched, it was the only mall in the catchment. Six other malls have made their entry into the same catchment. On the rise of mall clustering situation, Krishnamurti added: “There is already a mall cluster in Pune. The thumb rule is that the undifferentiated and the small malls will not survive. We are shifting Ishanya mall since there is no other real lifestyle centre in the country, at least the type we are talking about."
Starcentres is looking after the leasing and marketing of the mall on a revenue share and fixed rental model. The mall has Home Town and @ Home as its anchor stores. The other prominent stores signed by the mall are Mapsar, Crossword, The Bombay Store, In-living, Costa Coffee, Esprit, Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Allen Solly, Nike, Levis, and Catwalk.
Talking about the future of the specialty mall segment, Krishnamurti said: “Specialty mall is all about choosing a category. You need multiple anchors in a particular category to be able to drive traffic. The other important question is of size as you need much larger catchment or else you can’t sustain a particular area for a particular category. Keeping all this in mind, we are ready to foray into specialty mall in future with the right size, concept, and category.”