To successfully manage a retail shopping center, one requires a good degree of knowledge along with seamless systems. Knowledge comes with time and systems come with experience; astute management can do a lot for a retail property over a period of time. Talking to Shopping Centre News, Rajeev Ranjan, Mall Management Expert, talks about the art and science of running a successful mall.
Mall Management and Its Importance in Overall Retail Establishment
Mall management is defined as overall operation and maintenance of the entire building infrastructure, including the services and utilities, ensuring the wise use of resources. Mall management includes operation and maintenance (HVAC, fire fighting, power distribution, periodic PPM, MIS, billing, collections), mall marketing (boosting footfalls, events, activation, exhibition, advertising ATL, BTL, TTL), leasing and fit-outs (zoning, tenant mix, franchises), security (managing areas, CCTV monitoring, in-out records, control system, BMS), housekeeping (routine cleaning, facade cleaning, pest control, ambience).
For a retail establishment, there are various points to be kept in mind, such as regulatory bodies, supply chain, integrated management, market competition, margins, trainings and many other attributes. While mall management provides end-to-end solutions to the above-mentioned attributes, leasing and marketing teams will align all the local liaisons and help the operation to run smoothly.
The Importance of Tenant Mix
Tenant mix refers to the combination of retail outlets occupying the space in a shopping centre designed to produce cumulative profits for occupants and investors. Tenant mix is one of the most important factors to impact the success of a shopping centre; first impression on customers is critical and that can be achieved by an intelligent mix of retail outlets. Vacancies are typically procurement of services/ providers; risk assessment and security planning; manage tenancy fit-out process; overseeing commissioning of systems; preparation of tenant criteria document; set up systems and documentation; marketing (for retail properties); resource mobilization and management; compliance; financial processes; detailed site cleanup and preparation; dry run up of all services; stores set-up; business plan; lease management.
Post-opening phase: Property management; finance and lease administration; training; managing contract and vendor services; occupants’ management; compliance management; operations and maintenance; service management; administration services; marketing (for retail properties).
Role of Retailers in Mall Management
There always needs to be a strong bond between the retailer and mall management without which the smooth functioning of the mall is not possible. It is through retailers that a mall generates the pull and experience to draw customer traffic, which is an important factor in deciding the commercial future of the development. For a retailer, there are the considerations of carpet area or super built-up area, as well as the Gross Leasable Area (GLA). The support and co-ordination of all tenants plays a vital role in the success of the mall and its investors. There is a set of standard procedures to which both the e-tailers and management are bound, and which are designed to provide the best results in creating a commercially viable shopping centre.
Zoning of a Mall
Zoning refers to the division of mall space into various areas for the placement of various retailers. A shopping centre is dependent on the success of its tenants, which translates to the financial feasibility of the tenant in the mall. As per the routine tendency, creating the right tenant mix not only helps in a racing and retaining shoppers by offering them multiple choices and lifestyle experiences, but also facilitates the smooth movement of shoppers within the mall, avoiding unnecessary clusters and bottlenecks. In the current scenario, as the retail sector is constantly keeping an eye on the younger generation, zoning is often planned in a zig zag manner so that the customer can have a look around the complete mall and hopefully not miss any of the choices and stores available.
A zoning exercise, if done properly, helps in building a separate image in the minds of the visitors. This also helps influence shoppers’ mall preferences and frequency of visits, which is critical considering the robust upcoming supply of shopping centres. Targeting both preplanned shoppers and impulse visitors is critical if the shopping centre is to achieve higher conversions and thereby, higher sales for its tenants.
Typically, zoning is a mall space allocation exercise under which mall developers basically formulate an appropriate tenant mix to attract both types of customers, especially the impulse buyers.
Advantages of Zoning
1. Allows the smooth movement of shoppers in the mall, avoiding clusters and bottlenecks.
2. Creates a distinct image in the minds of the customers.
3. Assists in formulating the right tenant mix and the placement of these tenants within the mall.
4. Helps in the selection of right anchor tenants.
5. Helps retailers attract both types of consumers, especially the impulse buyers.
Latest Trends in Zoning
There are currently multiple trends in shopping centre zoning. Primarily, zoning is done so as to place highly recognized brands at the ground floor (near main entrances) and the anchors at strategic locations to which customer can go without ignoring the vanilla brands. ‘Dog bone’ zoning is currently the most visible tenant placement strategy.
Since 2013, the concept has been implemented in most shopping centres across India, with food courts and cinemas being typically placed at the higher floors for effective utilization of foot traffic. A relatively recent zoning practice involves housing local brands in small enclosed areas or specific designated areas to attract customers based on their loyalty. This concept of zoning is very popular in Tier II and Tier III shopping centres. To make the mall a vibrant, seamless space, it is essential that all stores have a good visibility of the atrium. The concept of cluster market should never be ignored while making the zoning plan of a mall.
Retail in Central India
Retailing in India is one of the pillars of its economy and accounts for about 10 per cent of its GDP. India is one of the fastest growing retail markets in the world, with over 1.2 billion people. As of 2003, India’s retailing industry was essentially owner manned small shops. In 2010, larger format convenience stores and supermarkets accounted for about 4 per cent of the industry, and these were present only in large urban centers. India’s retail and logistics industry employs about 40 million Indians.
Organized retailing, in India, refers to trading activities undertaken by licensed retailers, that is, those who are registered as tax payers. These include the publicly traded supermarkets, corporate-backed hypermarkets and retail chains, and also the privately owned large retail businesses.
Unorganized retailing, on the other hand, refers to the traditional formats of low-cost retailing, for example, the local corner shops, owner manned general stores, Temporary road side kiosks convenience stores, hand cart and pavement vendors, etc.
As far as the growth of retail in Central India is concerned; looking to the potential of the market there are lot many major brands entered into the market & those who are not made it till date are still searching for the openings to get into this fast growing market & to evaluate their brand potential, this in turn allows the customers to have large varieties in terms of shopping options are concerned.
Facility Management Companies
As I have mentioned earlier the Indian market today is expending at such a fast speed that not only allows the brands or products to get into the market but also allows openings to various verticals in it. Managing facility is also one of the major verticals that came out of it. Today there are lot of facility management companies operating at different modules, out of which I found Preeminent Management and Consultancy one of those companies who is having a team of young professionals with a very clear aim, that they are, ‘Formed to Manage’ which they follow very strictly resulting in maintaining excellent client relations with on time performances, which is the need of the hour in this modern competitive world.