Delhi’s Select CITYWALK, one of India’s most recognised and highly felicitated shopping centres, is planning to take the shopping experience one notch higher by adding additional 15 percent area.
Explaining how the mall is planning to utilise the space, CEO & Executive Director, Select CITYWALK, Yogeshwar Sharma says, “We will be focusing on expanding categories like ethnic and sports which are missing in the mall. We will also be adding more F&B options.” Earlier, F&B used to occupy 12 percent of the total portfolio of the mall. Recently, it was increased to 15-16 percent and now the mall authorities are planning to increase it to 18-20 percent. Apart from this, fast-fashion retailer Zara – which has its best-performing store in Select CITYWALK – is also looking forward to expanding its area by 50 percent.
“Most brands always ask for additional area to expand their stores. However, before allotting more space to the brand, we evaluate the additional value that it is adding to the mall. For example: Instead of giving 20,000 sq.ft. area to upcoming brand Uniqlo, we opted for giving the area to 20 different brands,” says Sharma.
Choosing Right Tenants
Select CITYWALK has a very strict short-listing criteria for new and existing tenants.
“Before signing any lease contract, we check the categoryand its performance in the mall along with the number of new customers it will be attracting. We also compare it with the existing brands in the same category. We make sure that the new brand which is entering the mall should not be a category killer. Instead of bringing a brand at the cost of other, we prefer that it should supplement the existing brands,”says Sharma.
“As far as existing brands are concerned, we make sure to optimise the space. For example, if any particular brand is occupying a bigger space as compared to its sales density, we try to use that area to create space for other brands. Apart from this, we offer spaces on short-term leases, and before renewing the lease, we reevaluate the performance of the brand,” he adds.
One way of bringing brands into the mall’s fold has been pop-up stores. Select CITYWALK has recently started experimenting with fashion pop-ups. Brands like Madison, Masaba, Lulu & Sky, Isharya, Needledust and Nicobar have already participated in popup activities in the mall.
“Pop-ups help in test marketing a brand and we as a mall understand how they are performing,” says Sharma, clearly indicating that pop-ups which bring in good revenues can be converted into permanent tenants.
Introducing In-house Brands
The mall has recently introduced in-house brands for categories which are missing in its premises.
“We saw that there was a gap in the watch, perfume and silver gifting segment, so we introduced in-house brands like Watches, Perfume Couture and Anyque,” states Sharma.
Brands which offer watches include Guess, Gc, Titan, Kenneth Cole, Casio, Tommy Hilfiger, Ferrari and Police.
Perfume Couture is a one-stop shopping destination for perfumes and colognes to suit the style and needs of the fashion conscious and valueoriented shoppers. Some of the key brands available here are Azzaro, Burberry, Salvatore Ferragamo, Davidoff, DKNY, Dolce & Gabbana, Hugo Boss, Givenchy, GUCCI, Giorgio Armani, Paco Rabanne, RalphLauren, Carolina Herrera, Fendi, Roberto, Cavalli, Bvlgari and Versace.
Anyque, a comprehensive gifting store, offers wide range of decor and gifting options from Arttd’inox, Beliram’s, Exclusively Yours, Elvy, Episode, Versace, Noritake and more. The brand has in-store gifts, decor items and accessories ranging from silver and silver-plated to bone china, stainless steel, etc. at varying price points.
“Perfumes and watches have hit the right chord with customers. However, we are still in the learning phase when it comes togifting options. We are expecting the sales to pick-up as the gifting season is already upon us,” Sharma adds.
When Select CITYWALK was conceptualised, it was observed that there was a huge demand forfashion category. “Armed with this analysis, we dedicated additional area percentage to fashion. We worked towards creating space for brands like Zara, H&M and Sephora whenthey entered India. Today, 50 percent of the space in Select CITYWALK is dedicated to fashion,” explains Sharma.
He adds that fashion brands – although occupying a large amount of space – delivers good numbers, both for themselves as well as for the mall.“At present, fashion is contributing almost 60 percent of the overall sales of the mall as per sq. ft. sales of the category is very high,” Sharma says.
Apart from this, the other categories which are garnering customers in the mall are athleisure, beauty, personal care and F&B.
“We have seen that the importance of categories has significantly changed from the day we started, earlier categories like salon,beauty did not hold prominent spots on the mall.
However, with e-commerce coming into the picture, shopping is now an easy option at home and the services which cannot be bought at home are now becoming very important to the mall,” states Sharma.The mall has observed a surge in demand in various categories like beauty, salon, fitness and cafés.
What Defines a Mall’s Success?
Right category mix and brand mix catering to the catchment area are the major contributors of the success of the mall.
“We also lay a strong emphasis on the marketing of the mall. We celebrate all kinds of festivals and occasions at the mall. Malls these days have evolved from being mere a shopping centre to social spaces where shopping has become incidental while enjoying various experiences,” Sharma explains, adding, “Generally, other malls spend 5-6 percent of therental value on marketing, but in our case, we are happy to take this number to 10 percent.”
Other factors that have contributed to the success of the mall are short-term leases along with revenue-sharing model, mall location, umbrella brands and spending ability of thecatchment.
“We do not let any brand fail to attract the customers as we hand-hold them whenever needed, this not only leads to the success of thebrand but also the mall,”says Sharma.
Going ahead, the mall is planning marketing events where every customer will feel recognised, will get personalized attention and appreciated for coming to mall. Apart from this, the mall will also be adding more relevant categories as well as using technology enabled tools to come closer to consumers.