DLF Emporio has been open since 2008 and DLF Promenade from 2009. Both malls have grown and developed a loyal customer base over the last 5-6 years. The brands featuring at the malls are being constantly churned to ensure that they offer newer brands and products to the customers. Their marketing calendars have also evolved keeping in mind what the customer wants. Furthermore, as safety is a pivotal point for DLF, the malls have added more safety features like child safe shopping, women’s parking, handicapped parking and elevator, panic buttons, etc to ensure that customers have a safe and smooth experience at the mall. Talking about the two most successful malls in Delhi NCR, Dinaz Madhukar, VP and Mall Head, DLF Promenade and Emporio reveals that what it actually takes to make such successful retailing social spaces.
What is the USP and differentiating factor of the malls?
The USP of DLF Promenade is- it never fails to offer you, your next moment of fashion. Established as a holistic shopping and entertainment destination for discerning fashion-conscious customers, DLF Promenade houses some of the finest fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands along with a great mix of fine-dining restaurants. It also offers the most extensive food paradise at the Eat Food Lounge coupled with the only 7-screen DT Star Cinemas and Kiddyland, the largest outdoor play area for kids in Delhi, dancing fountain on the likes of Bellagio, and the city’s largest LED screen. Besides we also offer unmatched services and top notch infrastructure for repeat visits. The innovative and unique marketing initiatives at DLF Promenade have always been its USP. We have won many awards recognizing the out-of-the-box marketing activities including the prestigious Images Shopping Centre Awards four times in a row since 2011 and Asia’s Shopping Centre & Mall Awards 2014.
Beautiful architecture and lavish interiors define DLF Emporio as India’s first and finest luxury shopping destination with over 65 international brands and 129 Indian designers present in generous spaces. Great care is being taken to ensure that the global retail community at Emporio is the most premium. Only the finest signature brands designer labels and high end lifestyle products will co-exist here. Some of the brands in Emporio include Louis Vuitton, , Giorgio Armani, Salvatore Ferragamo, Cartier, Fendi, Dior, Roberto Cavali, Tods, Burberry, Tarun Tahiliani, Suneet Varma, Manish Arora, Ranna Gill, Ashima & Leena to name a few. DLF Emporio, has been conceptualized and designed with the sole purpose of offering sheer luxury shopping experience for its esteemed customers. There is simply nowhere else that such a wealth of designer and premium merchandise, lifestyle products and services will be showcased under one roof. The nuances of luxurious serenity expressed at DLF Emporio are found only in the fashion capitals of the world, offering just the right kind of tasteful and sublime ambience to attract high value spenders.
How do you see the future of luxury retail in India?
The purchasing pattern in India has undergone a huge change. The buying power of the Indians has increased and so have their options with the entry of number of international retailers which are trying to cash in on the change. International brands which have entered India are more or less associated with luxury and luxury retail in India has been growing by leaps and bounds. Contrary to popular belief, the country has always been pro luxury as the people here are well travelled. Internet and electronic media has also played a very important role in creating this awareness. India has a lot of money and, again, it is one of those countries which have a high number of high net worth individuals (HNIs). According to The Knight Frank Wealth Report 2013, India ranks 5th on the list of HNIs. However, the performance of both national and international retailers is usually related to the market conditions. Though their entry has been fully welcomed by the Indian consumers, their performance cannot be measured against their Indian counterparts. The target audience of both national and international retailer varies in terms of location, choice, tradition and culture.
What do you think ensures the success of a luxury mall?
Success of luxury malls depends upon the amalgamation of everything, including brands, services, location, management and infrastructure. It is very critical to decide what all brands should be present in the property. Location is also extremely important. If a property is housing luxury brands, it needs to have the right ambience percolating throughout its infrastructure and also provide unmatched service to customers. Being India’s one and only luxury destination, one can always look forward to get the top end from the world of luxury right here at DLF Emporio. DLF Emporio always reinvents and innovates for the customers’ uber luxury experience. From the beginning itself, we were very clear about the kind of brands we wanted to bring to the mall, even if it required us to partner with them, which we did initially. Apart from this, the mall’s infrastructure is top-notch, better than any five-star hotel in India. DLF Emporio provides all the possible services that our customers can associate with luxury shopping, such as hands-free shopping which is inspired by the bell-boy services in hotels. Under this concept, the shoppers do not have to carry their bags while shopping. There is also the concierge services, the pick-and drop services and arranging for a private stylist for the customers. DLF Emporio believes in constant communication with its patrons, to make shopping a delightful experience for them. We keep them updated on DLF Emporio happenings, events and offers at the mall through monthly newsletters and social media activities. Varied events, exclusive collection and sales previews are hosted to ensure that connection is maintained between the brands and our esteemed customers.
Do you have plans to come up with more luxury malls in India?
DLF Emporio has been extremely well received by the Indian consumers. The present scenario of India as an economy does not show any levels of saturation for luxury shopping. As DLF Emporio is 100 percent leased out DLF has put into motion the construction of two more luxury malls in Chanakyapuri and Gurgaon respectively to accommodate brands that want to enter the Indian Luxury market. We are seeing a lot more demand and interest in the Indian luxury market coming from International brands.
How has DLF Emporio been zoned?
At DLF, we make sure we stick to the integrity of mall zoning. The international key brands in DLF Emporio are on the ground floor. The second range of brands is on the first floor, while all the couture Indian brands are on the third floor. India has a very strong culture of designers who are a strong brand name by themselves because of the strong ethnic market present in the country. So we have a special ethnic wear collection on the fourth floor.
What is the retail mix of DLF Emporio? How has it been kept different from DLF Promenade?
In both the malls, we have identified our categories percentage –wise and have tried to be honest to that. All the categories have been well represented wherein we don’t overdo any category or under-do it. The main categories remain the same in both, such as fashion, lifestyle, jewellery, footwear, F&B, and so on.
With over sixty five international labels and one hundred twenty nine Indian designers, there is no place in the world that can offer you the unique variety you will find at DLF Emporio. From Jewellery and Watches, the largest collection of International Menswear, Women’s Designer Fashion, both ethnic and international, Bags and Accessories to Home and Lifestyle products, the range is breathtaking. DLF Emporio, although being a luxury brand for fashion and lifestyle, has a unique range of F&B stores. We have around five such stores, including a multi-cuisine restaurant Set’z by DLF Restaurants, apart from Auma, Cafe E, Cha Shi and ‘On The Go.’ We have 24 expat chefs in Set’z alone for authentic cooking! Cafe E is located in the atrium, and this place leads to impulsive buying by visitors.
DLF Promenade is a fashion mall labeled as the Next Moment of fashion. The mall houses and eclectic mix of fashion brands that includes its fashion anchor Zara placed right in front of the main entry along with other fashion brands like Mango, Forever 21, Bebe, Promod, Marks & Spencer; all situated on the ground floor. The beauty portfolio is well represented by Sephora, Crabtree & Evelyn, Forest Essentials and others. Foodhall, a premium lifestyle food destination caters to the grocery needs of the individuals looking for the specialty foods which they find when they travel abroad. In addition to its fashion and beauty portfolio, the mall offers a strong mix of F&B brands. Sitting in DLF Promenade are all cuisines; be it the South-African giant – Nando’s, the American all-day diner – TGIF, home-grown pan-Asian and Indian food chain – Mamagoto & Veda, Park hotel’s retail offering – Italia, Delhi’s exclusive- Café Delhi Heights and The Big Chill, Riyaz Amlani’s casual diners – Smoke House Deli and Mocha Art House or chef Marut Sikka’s Indian and continental offering – Kainoosh and Keya. With its strong anchors, Zara, Marks & Spencer, DT Cinemas and the state-of-the-art food court, DLF Promenade completes the mall experience for all its patrons. With Delhi’s only 7-screen Star DT Cinemas, DLF Promenade also enjoys the loyalty of cinema goers in the city.
How does DLF Emporio and Promenade add to the footfall of each other?
The entire Vasant Kunj complex has been planned in a way that shoppers get the same feel in both the malls but get to choose different brands. Delhi has a clientele which likes mixing and matching. You can find someone wearing a Zara outfit with Jimmy Choo shoes and carrying a Louis Vuitton bag. At Emporio, we have given them that proximate-yet-very distinct differentiation. Serious shoppers come to Emporio Monday to Thursday while crossover customers walk in from Friday to Sunday. On weekends, the secondary entry through the Hub between DLF Promenade and the DLF Emporio is busier. On weekdays, the main entries are the focal point. In India, the line is blurring between luxury and premium customers. However, the Emporio customers are sure of what they want and walk out with it. The Promenade customers on the other hand are there because they want to spend the day around. It is not surprising to note that customers are common across the two malls! The same people who are shopping in DLF Emporio are also the ones watching movies at DT Cinemas in DLF Promenade. They go across for cosmetics, food court, grocery and other services which are not present in DLF Emporio.
How is the design of the two malls different?
Externally, the design of the two malls is very congenial and symmetrical and flows in harmony with each other. You can find consistency in the kind of material used and flooring for both. Internally, there is a differentiation in terms of the width of the corridors, the size and furnishing of the washrooms, and so on. DLF Emporio has been designed by architect Mohit Gujral in the genre of a five star style setting. DLF Emporio follows an uber-chic design concept with a décor in shades of gold and copper that lends it a grand look. Conceptualized around two dramatic atriums courtyard with a skylight, a sense of openness is the central theme. A classy marble fountain welcomes the visitors of the mall. DLF Promenade is very up market, chic and contemporary. The mall is designed in a way that it caters to each and every need and desire of a person visiting the mall with his family. Public spaces have been thoughtfully planned, offering wide corridors, rich materials like Italian marbles, brass detailing, artful lighting, and larger than life chandeliers. The retail spaces are generously proportioned with high ceilings and large display windows to showcase the merchandise.
What strategies have to be adopted by the malls to retain the retailers?It all depends upon the kind of relationship that exists between the developer and the retailer. Price is a secondary factor. If retailers feel that the developer has been their partner in everything – not only physically or financially but also by working with them in dedicating events and explaining to them particular strategies if they are going through a low phase – they are not going to move away from the mall at any cost. DLF Promenade rolls out a robust all-year round marketing calendar and each event and promotion is planned out keeping in mind the business of the brands. At DLF Emporio and DLF Promenade, we partner with our brands when they open ; both national and international are given marketing support in their first month in terms of branding and promotion on social media and website.
How does your team at the mall help you overcome the challenges faced in running the show in two of the most popular malls of Delhi?
Our malls could not have had their existing reputation unless all the teams – whether it is marketing, leasing, security, management or operations – worked to their top level. There is a lot of synergy across the DLF retail sector in the form of a monthly review of all the DLF malls together where a lot of give-and-take of ideas occurs. We have regular training programmes for the staff and bring the right kind of faculty on board to train our people. We also identify the international-level training programmes that are happening. The investment on training, safety and security by DLF is unparalleled.
What are the Challenges for the Retail Sector in India ? Views on Governance and Policies?
The bureaucratic hurdles and tiresome legal formalities are some of the major deterrents for retail industry in India. But the fact cannot be denied that India as an economy has gained international recognition and the status of being a high-potential business economy. The growth of the retail industry, the interest of brands willing to invest into India, opening of FDI in retail and the increasing purchasing power of a growing Indian middle class are factors that make it conducive for the entry of more international brands.
Future plans in the pipeline?
DLF has recently launched a unique retail concept called DLF Cyber Hub in Gurgaon. Indians are food lovers and what better way to satiate the palette than having multiple restaurants under one roof to choose from. Keeping this in mind, Cyber Hub is purely a food and entertainment destination.
Another concept is DLF Mall of India, which is India’s largest mall. Located in Noida, the mall is spread across 1.8 million sq.ft. area, and is going to be the only retail establishment in India with 6 customized shopping levels, 475 stores and 74 escalators.
DLF being a pioneer in the retail space is always coming up with unique concepts which appeal to their customers.