Express Avenue, the brainchild of its Managing Director Kavita Singhania, is often described as the platform which introduced a whole new dimension of style and glamour to the lifestyle of people living in Chennai.
When the entire country’s retail growth was concentrated in the North and West, she envisaged and worked towards building Express Avenue in Chennai. In 2010, Chennai as a city did not have a single organised mall. It was her vision that redefined the mallscape in the city by gifting it its first internationally designed world-class shopping centre. Nine years on, Express Avenue boasts of a gamut of leading international and national brands of repute in its premises, with the promise of opening many more in the future.
The journey of the mall has been quite interesting. Express Avenue was launched in 2010, amidst serious doubt about the potential of running such a huge mall in a very conservative market. The launch turned out to be a roaring success and laid to rest the arguments of many skeptics. As Kavita Singhania rightly said, “Chennai was ready for transformation” and the successful launch of the mall proved her correct.
The creation and success of Express Avenue has also paved the way for other malls, leading to the creation of a retail market that is second to none in Chennai.
Factors Leading to Success
Express Avenue has a perfect mix of the key elements that determine the success of any shopping centre in the country today – a great location, a catchment area second to none, a category and brand mix to be envious of and an entertainment quotient – including dining options – that’s par excellence. And, it never failed to disappoint its customers on these parameters. The mall gained popularity, as more and more consumers felt connected to the services and facilities. Express Avenue followed a superior zoning strategy to ensure that stores are organised in an ‘easy discovery’ manner for visitors. The ground floor, being the face of the mall, is occupied by some of the best international brands and the mall management upgraded the same by bringing in more bridge-to-luxury brands in all these years.
Apart from keeping F&B, FEC, fashion brands in mind, Express Avenue also looked into customer convenience and hospitality, as they were the first mall to introduce an emergency medical centre inside its premises, with a dedicated pharmacy and ambulance services. Also, to enable ease of commuting within the mall by the elderly and the physically challenged, battery-operated carts were introduced inside the mall.
“Due to the simplicity of design, a good brand mix, centralised location the mall has achieved quite a few awards and recognition. Consumption story in the mall has been quite strong right from inception making most of the stores at Express Avenue clocking the highest sales in whole of South India,” says Munish Khanna, Chief Revenue Officer, Express Avenue.
As Khanna explains, “The mall has been truly blessed with the central location and good catchment. The simplicity of the mall design and the convenience of location makes it the most preferred shopping destination in Chennai. The location and design of the mall has competitive advantage over other competitors.”
The key attractions of the mall are:
Shopping: The shopping section consists of stationery, toys, games, gifts, electronics, home and lifestyle. There is a prominent fashion section which includes top brands in footwear, handbags, jewellery, watches, lingerie, luggage, leather products, watches, optics, sunglasses, health & beauty, fitness, cosmetics, perfumes, sportswear and goods.
Food: The dining segment includes vegetarian and non-vegetarian fine dining cafes, chocolates, ice cream and fast-food outlets.
Entertainment: There is a dedicated entertainment section with a kids play zone, 5 D cinema and game shops. “Some of our major entertainment partners are Escape, Funcity, 5D Cinemas, Scary House, Dialogue in the Dark etc. The mall has gone from strength to strength by bringing the first Snow City in the heart of city, cricket, football, Jungle Safari catering to a relatively adult audience,” states Khanna.
The third floor of the mall is dedicated to F&B i.e. the food court. “Express Avenue has been watching the shift in the consumption pattern very closely more skewed towards Food & Entertainment and hence we have chosen to strengthen our FEC offerings. Food being an important part of this equation, Express Avenue has a huge food court, which is a visual delight. It has been recently upgraded to redefine the consumer experience. Lot of popular brands have been introduced to bring in strong footfalls replacing the weaker brands,” says Khanna.
Celebrate wellness & Health at Express Avenue
Express Avenue Chennai’s took initiative to host a ‘First of its kind, wellness fest curated by ‘The Divine Sparks & the Lucky Charm & Co’ on August 2-3, 2019. The objective of this two-day wellness fest was to spread Wellness in reciprocation to the warmth received by Express Avenue for the last 9 years. The fest also unveiled a plethora of healing modalities for the body, mind emotions & energies experiential sessions on well-being, including methods of relaxation for inner peace. The event was inaugurated by renowned Wellness Consultant Ishani Vellodi Reddy, a Certified Health Coach, Former Investment Banker & founder of Ishani Vellodi Wellness. It consisted of various activities such as Chakra Healing, Sound Therapy, Shalvik Mantra Rahasya, Candle Therapy, Pranic Healing, Cosmic Healing & Taalakyam to name a few. The wellness fest also had interesting master classes for both adults and children.
“Today, having a holistic and positive lifestyle has become an imperative. The objective of this fest is to spread wellness & wellbeing in reciprocation to the warmth received by Express Avenue for the last 9 years. This fest will also unveil a plethora of healing modalities for the body, mind emotions & energies,” concludes Khanna.