Tier II and tier III cities are undoubtedly the future growth engines of the country. The rise in internet penetration, influence of social media and growing disposable incomes of the new generation have essentially ushered in an era of commerce,resulting in a mall boom in India.
Such is the growing mall culture in India that 34 new shopping malls, covering 13.6 million sq. ft. area are expected to come up in top eight cities by the year 2020. However, with the growth of e-commerce and m-commerce, malls understood the need to reinvent themselves in order to offer more than just retail to bring in and retain the modern consumer. This was especially essential in Tier II cities, where the penetration of Internet meant people could access brands that could not physically reach them. Today’s Tier II consumer is as evolved, educated and well-travelled as anyone living in a metropolitan city.
He’s demanding and has a high disposable income. To cater to him, new malls being constructed in smaller cities are allocating substantial square footage to Family Entertainment Centres (FECs). Maximising on digital technology, these malls are improving upon customer engagement to stimulate footfalls as a business strategy to boost sales.
99 D N REGALIA MALL, BHUBANESWAR
“We are now planning to bring in the biggest FEC player of the country, Smaaash, an initiative of Sachin Tendulkar and Virat Kohli, to our mall. This first-of-its-kind venture in Odisha includes a contract signed with 40 international cricketers,” he adds. Another attraction by the mall is a huge VR roller coaster ride.
Nayak says the most interesting feature of this ride is that visitors can any random design and the coaster will drive them in a similar path – a novel concept in as far as FEC rides go.
For parents with small kids, the mall has built dining options next to the kids’ zone, so parents can catch their breath and enjoy a bite while watching their children play. The mall is coming up with a complete floor that offers a 10000 sq.ft. micro-brewery, a Cyber Hub-like concept called Food Hub with six top fine-dine restaurants.
“The mall – which is a mixed-use development – will see the first Taj hotel opening up in the city. Vivanta Bhubaneswar will comprise 137 well-furnished guest rooms and other features, including multi-cuisine restaurants, recreation facilities, modern meeting spaces, well-equipped conference rooms and 4 banquet halls and five fine dine restaurants. It is slated to open in September 2020,” he stated.
88 VIVIANA MALL, THANE
“The mall culture has been prevalent in India for just about two decades now. Having said that in these two decades the entire industry has survived a lot. While 2007-2008 saw a surge in the number of malls, the onset of recession did impact the mall and retail sector in early 2008. Only the players who understood that malls need to graduate from just being a shopping centre to an experience zone survived the test of time. This was a key factor which made FECs play a significant role in revolutionising the Indian mallscape,” explains Manoj K Agarwal, CEO, Viviana Mall.
He says that a combination of digitisation, rapid urbanisation, rise in disposable incomes and changes in the lifestyle of the middle-class and the malls understanding their existencewas more as providers of experiences that went beyond just shopping, is what has made malls successful today.
“We at Viviana, gauged this trend through in-depth market research and launched itself with ample amount of options in its Fun and Entertainment formats. Thus, making Viviana a destination mall in the true sense,” he further adds.
One of the mall’s USPs is that Viviana Mall always aims to change with changing times and the team feels that the old should always be replaced with new and upgraded versions.
“In keeping with this belief, we have recently got our FEC totally renovated and have added a number of new rides. These help us give our customers the very best in customer engagement and value and give them an amusement park-type experience. This, in turn, has increased our footfalls and sales which has led to organic growth for us as a whole. This is the kind of experience we have in mind when we curate our events and our FEC zones for our customers,” says Agarwal.
“We want consumers to get good value for their time and money and make sure when they think leisure time with family, they come to Viviana,” he states. Viviana’s FEC offering is in the form a 30,000 sq. ft. space with Cinepolis, being their star attraction. Cinepolis has 14 Screens including a 4-Screen VIP section offering recliner seats, butler service and an exclusive dining menu offering a wide array of scrumptious dishes.
The traditional section has 10 screens offering a excellent range of movies to view including 3 special screens which provide I-max, 4DX and Atmos formats along with a fresh newlydesigned food and beverage menu thus offering our customers a 360-degree entertainment experience.
This has helped in making them a key player in mall on a pan India basis that offers unique recreation options thus differentiating Viviana from other malls in the country.
This combined with a 30,000 sq. ft. FEC in the mall has made Viviana a heavily popular mallamongst all our customers across Mumbai. Fun City has been with Viviana since its inception in 2015, giving customers a wide range of rides to choose from. They also have VR based gaming options and some superb amusement park themed rides that add to the thrill for customers.
66 CREATICITY, PUNE
Creaticity has innovative formats like Tiger Play, SkyJumper and SLATE (a children’s enrichment center), which are all part of Playcity and Eventcity with over 11 event venues including a state of the art 700 seater open Amphitheatre which hosts national and international programs cutting across music, theatre, art and dance forms. The idea lies in bringing differentiated entertainment in the 10 percent of space the has mall dedicated to such concepts. While Tigerplay is an outdoor turf that hosts group gaming sports like Futsal and Cricket, Skyjumper is Pune’s largest Trampoline Park spread over 12,000 sq. ft. of space and attracts not only children but adults too.