The journey of Brookefields mall, since its launch seven years ago, has been quite exciting to say the least. Located in Coimbatore and spread over an area of approximately 4,50,000 sq. ft., Brookefields aims to redefine and revolutionize customer experience beyond conventional shopping centres.
Over the last few years, Brookefields has become one of the most sought-after shopping-cum-entertainment destinations in Coimbatore. With several anchor retail outlets including leading local, national and international brands, hypermarkets, a food court, a family entertainment centre, a multiplex, and efficient parking facility all under one roof, the mall has something in store for everyone.
“We are quite fortunate to be located in an enterprising city and our longevity and success is a testament to the vibrancy of the entire Kongu Region in Tamil Nadu,” says Ashwin Balasubramaniam, Chief Operating Officer, Brookefields.
Key Elements That Determine Brookefields’ Success
The mall promises something for everyone with its bewildering range of products. Its great location and connectivity – the mall is located on Brookebond road – make it a convenient destination for locals and tourists alike.
“Quite simply put, we are located in the most enterprising city in Tamil Nadu. Coimbatore is a hub for various towns and boasts of good HDI metrics, making it the ideal place to open a mall in,” says Balasubramaniam.
Although the mall currently only uses inward technology – on the maintenance front – and not customer facing tech, it is currently in the process of upgrading its facilities to attract more footfalls.
The majority of the brands in the mall are Indian, keeping in mind the demands of a Tier II city. Despite this disadvantage, the Brookefields management has carefully curated a great mix of local retailers, and has tried to localize content, making the mall attractive to visitors.
“Our anchor store is RmKV, which has been instrumental in our success as a shopping destination. We have also tried to keep CAM affordable, so retailers don’t feel the pinch. These two key decisions have contributed immensely to the success of the mall,” asserts Balasubramaniam.
Zoning of a Mall
The mall also has a fairly rigid zoning policy. 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 not miss any of available choices and stores.
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.
Being an FEC
With F&B and entertainment options running common across malls, adding in out of the box activities and options is what sets the mall apart. Brookefields is more than just a shopping centre. The mall prides itself on being a complete Family Entertainment Centre.
With the majority of malls in India housing the same set of brands and F&B options, it becomes imperative to put in an extra effort to narrow down the customer engagement initiatives that will keep visitors enthralled and entertained.
Brookefields is home to Chennai-based SPI Cinemas, a leading player in the entertainment industry, which operated a six-screen multiplex in the mall.
SPI Cinemas strives to be at the forefront of media technology and endeavours to bring new entertainment technology to customers first.Cool, contemporary and connected, SPI Cinemas engages consumers with the latest in interactive cinematic entertainment. It is equipped with facilities and services perfect for the new generation of tech savvy consumers, complete with ticket kiosks, a gaming zone, Wi-Fi and state-of-the-art media technology.
“Malls world over are giving a lot of weightage to experience centric tenants, so FEC will only become more prominent in the days to come,” says Balasubramaniam.
Apart from this, Fun Cityis a prominent attraction for children. The play area offers an arcade, a carousel, bumper cars and a ‘scary house’. The mall management says this is a major draw for consumers on the weekends.
Going forward Balasubramaniam says the plan is to introduce more international brands to the city, add more excitement into the retail mix.
“We would like to be the entry point for international brands in this region, move the mix to some more international offerings and introduce more fine dining options to attract more footfalls over the next few years,” he concludes.