This thought provoking session was kickstarted by Ashwin Puri, CEO, Red Oak Retail by sharing a few points about how to create a unique customer-focused experience to offer a complete one-stop family centre and a social space, a second home for any outing. Shopping malls therefore will be the primary place for brands to create true, authentic connection with customers.
Rajneesh Mahajan, COO, Inorbit Malls, said that partnership between the mall owner and retailers to develop complete family entertainment spaces is essential. “We took a long time to find the right partner in Delhi because we wanted to find the correct partner who believed in this philosophy with us,” he added.
Good entertainment and excellent social spaces are vital for shopping centres, said Ashwin. But Viraj Jit Singh, CMO, KidZania, said, “The national average of retail space on ground floors of SCs is 45 per cent. The rest 55 per cent has to be carefully developed to nurture entertainment spaces. Customer experiences are evolving.” Eventually anyone going into a mall is looking to not just to buy or to do one thing. They are looking at doing 2-3 things, said Deepti Sood, Head, Ambience Malls. “This calls for not just good but great entertainment sources and centres,” she added. Therefore, she continued, developers are looking into this seriously as a dire need of mall development.
Munish Baldev, Head, Retail, Unitech, added an invaluable point by stating that malls should not think of costs that are involved in increasing volumes. These are unavoidable costs and have to be incurred, but what these would do is increase footfall and refresh the opinion about the shopping centre.
Ashwin added that customers now have an increasing need to socialise with today’s consumers. And this is what the shopping centre industry should see as an opportunity.
KidZania, CMO, Viraj Jit Singh, added: “We have created KidZania not just as a kids’ destinations but as complete entertainment centres. That is the need of the hour if a business such as ours has to thrive.”
For a detailed coverage and intensive interactions with our key speakers, watch out for the next issue of Shopping Centre News.