Conventionally, shopping for weddings happen to be quite tedious and exhausting, wandering from market to market in search of buying the perfect things for your wedding. However, lately, fast paced lives, and demanding consumers insist they be provided all wedding solutions in one place. Retailers are being forced to evolve and in a bid to stay relevant to wedding shoppers, are turning to the only one-stop-shop solution they can think of – malls!
Malls have turned into a one-stop-shop-destinations, saving customers time and creating a seasonal wedding niche. Patrons can buy the best in wedding wear, jewelry, cosmetics, gifts and even schedule trips to the spa all at the mall.
The Demonetization Effect
The Indian wedding industry is estimated to be worth Rs 1 lakh crore per year, and growing annually at 25-30 per cent, significantly responsible for providing employment to more than 3 lakh people a year.
However, this fast-growing, robust industry was dealt a body blow with the Government pulling out high denomination notes (Rs 500 and Rs 1,000) from circulation.
Fashion designers had to deal with cancellations, their order numbers tanking this year. Small vendors – who only dealt in cash – saw almost no customers and impulse buying, something that usually accompanies wedding sales, have almost completely come to a halt.
While the country grappled with the effects of the note ban, the problem was that weddings had already been planned, venues and caterers booked. So how were families to finish their essential shopping?
Malls were the first to get back on their feet, coming up with offers and ideas to lure customers looking for wedding-related purchases while providing them with comfortable payment solutions.
This quick thinking attitude ensured malls witnessed a 25-30 per cent increase in footfalls and 50 per cent increase in consumer spends during the wedding and festive seasons in 2016.
Last year, Pacific Mall in New Delhi hosted their first wedding extravaganza ‘VOW to WOW’ which gained much public attention. Additionally, they also organised a ‘Wedding Fashion Show’ that gave visitors an insight into what they could expect this wedding season. Wedding curated stores like Manyavar, Meena Bazaar and Jashn noted an increase in footfalls.
Center Director at Pacific Mall, Salim Roopani told Indiaretailing Bureau in an exclusive interview, “We received an overwhelming response from our customers in our first wedding fashion show hosted in end 2016 and in the 2017 we are going to plan for a bigger event. We are going to tie-up with bigger brands and names to provide a one stop shop to customers. We are planning to do a wedding event this year as well and we look forward to adding more elements in this wedding season to make it a one stop destination for all wedding related expert consultation and needs. As part of our initiatives we are looking at creating a property/event to make Pacific mall a one-stop place, a perfect destination for the upcoming wedding season.”
Senior Vice President DLF Luxury vertical, Dinaz Madhukar said, “DLF Emporio organises an annual brand property ‘DLF Emporio Couture Weddings’ which is a four-day long wedding extravaganza wherein we create a celebratory vibe inside the mall with beautiful décor. We give consumers exclusive access to the industry’s leading fashion designers and celebrity stylists through personal appointments.”
“Prospective brides and grooms register with DLF Emporio, go through various levels of screening and get to meet the designer and the stylist of their choice. The brides and grooms have plethora of options to choose starting from their outfit to shoes to jewellery to hair and makeup all under one roof. We make sure that every bride and groom has their own unique experience and a story to share,” Madhukar added.
“Our annual properties like DLF Emporio Couture Weddings, Luxury Shopping Festival and L’Homme Luxury are one of the most awaited events of the year and all our patrons look forward to be part of these events,” she further stated.
Malls & Their Wedding-Themed Properties
Palladium, Mumbai, in the months of October, November and December 2016, hosted a great initiative for soon to be brides and grooms called ‘Palladium Stylista’ – where six professional stylists were available over two weekends to offer free styling services to help the bride and groom plan their big day. The stylists would take brides and grooms for a shopping session – from choosing the outfit, to trousseau shopping advises, to picking special gifts for each other or for the families, to choosing the perfect make up and hair style.
“Every quarter we do curate special initiatives for customers with third-party brands such as bridal shows and bridal themed flea markets. Coming up this month on the 28th and 29th of January is a unique travel festival called The Gypsy Travel Festival which will have a wide variety of honeymoon destinations for couples,” he said.
Where other malls are organizing events and shows to celebrate weddings, DLF Mall of India in Noida came up with an extraordinary concept of zoning.
Launched with a high street fashion show on 14th May 2016, the High Street Zone has set the Mall of India ahead by miles. The High Street includes 70+ brands of footwear, apparel and accessories to choose from.
The theme for the event ‘Celebrating what India Wears’ focused specifically on Indian Ethnic and was choreographed by Aparna and Tanya. For the fashion extravaganza to dazzle all present, donned in exquisite bridal couture was Bollywood star Aditi Rao Hydari.
Speaking on the festive shopping season, Executive VP of Mall of India, Pushpa Bector said, “The high street retail has primarily been an unorganized category, however DLF has identified the significance of high street shopping among the Indian audience and given it the importance it deserves. We have done the clustering of some of the best names in the industry in an organized retail format by conceptualizing the High Street Zone at DLF Mall of India. It is indeed one the unique propositions that sets us apart from the other malls.”
“We promote this zone aggressively to position DLF Mall of India as a one stop wedding/ occasion wear destination for customers,” she added.
The Business of Spas & Salons
And after all the exhaustion consumers go through during the planning and shopping process right before the wedding, malls feel they deserve to be pampered! Keeping the enthusiasm alive, shopping centres have strategically stationed salons and spas to rejuvenate tired consumers with their fantastic wellness services.
Palladium collaborated with popular spas and salons including Jean-Claude Biguine Salon and Spa, Suko Thai, Aroma Thai & JCB, Truefitt & Hill Dessange that offer special bridal service/packages.
Celebrity makeup artist and stylist Aashmeen Munjaal’s Star Salon even hosted a week-long extravaganza inside Pacific Mall to provide wedding consultation for hair, skin, makeup, wedding dresses and wedding jewelry, industry-insider tips.
Malls Have It All!
After analyzing shopping patterns and preferences, malls have managed to understand the needs of evolving consumers from different cultures and financial backgrounds. They have something for every bride, every groom, and every budget.
Shopping centres have successfully managed to bring all stakeholders in the wedding business under one roof (including the consumer).
Very gradually, malls have set standards of how a perfect shopping destination should actually look like; leaving being the passe style of shopping – wandering from market to market.