The Great Indian Mall Boom began innocuously enough in the early 2000s, with just three malls in existence in the entire country. Nineteen years later, the number has mushroomed to a whopping 650 malls, enabled by the fact that the Indian audience discovered clean, vibrant, climate-controlled and technology-enabled malls, replete with a plethora of brands.

The shopping centre industry in the country took a hit with the advent of e-commerce in the early 2000s and then the due to the effects of recession of 2007-2008, the economic slowdown, demonetization, FDI rules as well as the coming of GST. There even came a time when developers were forced to shut down ‘dead’ or ‘ghost’ malls.

Despite the hurdles, investment firms saw India as a gold mine and mall developers did not lose focus, working doubly hard to ensure that their footfalls didn’t go down. Not just that, they worked on providing new brands and experiences to lure in and retain visitors. They also built new and improved malls for appreciating audiences. Today, all cities –Tier I, II or III – have malls, not just market complexes.

This organised retail space is dedicated to shopping, entertainment, dining and cinema. The shopping mall culture has well and truly gripped the nation. In fact, as per an ANAROCK report, more than 30 new shopping malls covering nearly 14 million sq. ft. of area are expected to come up across top eight cities by 2020.

“Rapid urbanisation, digitisation, increasing disposable incomes and lifestyle changes in the middle-class society are leading to a major revolution in the Indian retail sector, which is pegged to grow by 60 percent to reach US$ 1.1 trillion by 2020. Cities that have seen maximum malls include Gurgaon, Noida, Greater Noida and Delhi in NCR, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru and Pune. Over the next 5 years, nearly 85 malls are expected to come up in India,” explains Anuj Kejriwal, MD & CEO – ANAROCK Retail.

“Low vacancy levels and high rentals in Tier I cities are now also paving the way for retail expansion in Tier II cities like Lucknow, Coimbatore, Chandigarh, Mangalore and Ahmedabad, to name a few. In fact, sensing immense opportunities and easy penetration into the Indian retail diaspora, overseas retailers are now expanding not just in metros but even Tier II cities namely Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Lucknow and Jaipur. This has led to mushrooming of malls all across the country,” he adds.

Why Indians Shoppers Love Malls

After a brief slowdown, shopping malls bounced back with a bang. They work towards offering experiences along with the touch and feel factor – something which is very popular among Indian shoppers. Their adoption of Omnichannel, Phy-gital and New Retail has greatly appealed to audiences who are increasingly accepting digitalisation.

A shift in consumer buying patterns – with the e-commerce boom – has led malls to work towards providing more immersive experiences per square foot. To stay relevant in the market for the customer, mall developers started coming up with solutions like discovery through innovation to give an immersive, seamless, wholesome experience to the consumer.

According to a report released by Boston Consulting Group in (BCG) 2017, though 70 percent of nearly 90 million online shoppers in India are infl uenced by the information they glean from internet, only 16 percent of them actually end up buying online. This means that purely offline pathway remains dominant, accounting for 78 percent of purchases and 58 percent of value. Loosely translated, this means that while most Indians research and compare products online, they eventually need to touch and feel a product, so wind up going to a store to buy what they need. And this is what makes the mall industry click in the country.

Adaptability & Flexibility

Today, with the penetration of the Internet, methods of engagement and communication have changed considerably. The retail industry, along with shopping centres, is faced with the uphill task of keeping up with the modern demands of evolving consumers. The old school of thought ‘once you get customers into your store, sales will happen’ no longer applies since all malls off er similar brands and an equal number of stores. This is where innovation and experiential retail has come in, quickly becoming the unique selling point of traditional brick-and-mortar format.

In-store engagement is important because it is mutually benefi cial for both the customer and the mall-based retailer. Consumer data and analytics, when combined with friendly, face-to-face service, allows employees to create a sense of value and familiarity for in-store shoppers.

The Diversification Mantra

It has become increasingly evident that no mall in India today can depend solely on shopping as its prime source of revenue generation and footfalls. Developers have understood that they need to transform their malls into community spaces to stay relevant to today’s far more discerning customers. Besides seeking a holistic shopping experience, consumers want to be comfortable and have something that inspires them to stay longer and, more essentially, persuades them to return.

“This has led to a constant eff ort by Indian mall operators to provide the required specialised experience. Thus, most malls are striving to become prominent ‘shoppertainment’ locations. Today’s top-performing shopping malls are mixed-use businesses that incorporate social entertainment options, provide unique appeal along with certain depth in the shopping experience, and are in prime locations that are easily accessible by both public and private transport,” says Kejriwal.

The Gamechangers: FEC &Technology

If malls want to survive in today’s complex retail scenario, they need to operate as Family Entertainment Centres (FEC). Aside from the touch and feel factor, going to a mall is considered an outing by Indian families, who often couple retail with dining out, visiting entertainment zones or even watching a movie.

For shoppers today, a trip to the mall needs to be a complete experience and malls are striving to provide all these experiences within its premises. To keep up the competition from e-commerce, mall management is turning to digital and technical aid to off er an enhanced consumer experience. Shopping centres are using technology to mine customer data to know their shopping habits. They then use this data to promote products and services more eff ectively while ensuring a right mix of retailers for the local catchment.
Malls today provide a large number of services including indoor parking, interactive maps and child friendly spaces. They also hold sales and events to engage audiences. Many malls have apps which give consumers all information – right from vacant spot in the parking to details of sale, offers, discounts and events.

In Conclusion…

There is no limit as far as technology’s reach is concerned. The retail scene in India, as well as the rest of the world, is changing far too rapidly for players to become complacent. What works today may not work five years from now.

To conclude, IMAGES Retail Bureau brings you an in-depth look at some of the popular shopping centres around the length and breadth of the country, malls which are focusing on technology and the community to better connect with their customers in the pursuit of excellence. The feature highlights the success growth, brand popularity, technological innovations, new brands introduced in the fashion and FEC segment by the malls in the last one year.

1Quest Mall: The Best Culmination of Luxury Retail & Fine Dining in Kolkata

Quest Mall, Kolkata needs no introduction. It has been a landmark destination since its inception and has turned out to be a radical revolution in fashion and lifestyle, providing a clutch of the spiffiest experiences for the classes, as well as setting a unique aspirational benchmark for the masses. Its impressive facade is a mesmerising interplay of solar-powered lighting against a modern and energetic asymmetrical structure – inspired by India’s varied culture and natural beauty. It is rated as one of the best culmination of luxury retail and fine dining in Kolkata. Located at the heart of this eclectic city, the mall is conveniently at the cusp of premium residential areas like Ballygunge and Park Street, with effortless access from Alipore & New Alipore. Quest is a one-stop destination for shoppers of Kolkata of all age groups.

It is, undoubtedly, one of Kolkata’s best mall, competing with the world’s finest. Sanjeev Mehra, Vice President, Quest Properties India Ltd. talks about the mall’s successful journey, its growth achievements and future aspects in an exclusive interaction with IMAGES Retail Bureau.

Elaborate on the performance of the mall in the last cycle?

For Quest, the sales per sq. ft. have been highest in the region, with the footfall of the mall growing multi-fold. The mall has seen major growth in the luxury and bridge-to-luxury segments. All the anchor stores at the mall are in a growth trajectory including the departmental store, the hypermarket and the FEC players. All of these developments are positive signs of the growing aspirations of the mall patrons. Now, our focus is to upgrade the current offerings and introduce them to the customers with higher aspirational values.

How do you rate the success of the mall? How much has the brand grown in the past year?

For Quest, there are various parameters that have played a major role in deciding the success of the mall. They are:

Brand Mix: We have successfully been able to induct brands like Tod’s, Bobbi Brown, Forest Essentials, Aldo, Rare Rabbit, Wacoal, Latin Quarters, Biba, Soch, Rookie USA, GAP Kids, Millie’s Cookies and Isharya in the last financial year.

New Events: Marketing and promotion of the shopping center has been very important. As of every year we do multiple events to attract the customers to keep coming back to the mall. This past year, we have entered into the fourth season of the Midnight Sale at Quest (June 9) and for the very first time we have successfully executed Black Friday Sale (November 23-25) which has become a new intellectual property with incredible footfalls/ sales that are worth waiting for all year round.

What are some unique store formats /retail concepts that you have introduced to bring in consumers?

Store Formats:
– Skai Bar: The 120-seater Skai Bar combines chill and urban cool inits ambiance. It is divided into two sections – indoor and al fresco, complete with two bars. Soothing clean lines, a palette of grey, green, brown, wood and prints define the décor. The interiors have been done by Mumbai-based architects Avni Deshpande and Komeil Mukhi. Now, the mall owns its very own rooftop bar with modern international cuisines.
– Q33 Alfresco: This Luxury café-cum-restaurant is situated on the ground floor where all the luxury brands of the mall are present. The café is the brainchild of Quest and was conceptualised keeping in mind the requirement of a lounge area wherein shoppers can relax after a luxury shopping spree.
– The Liquor Section of Spencer’s: Complete with a Duty-Free like liquor store setting, the liquor section of Spencer’s was introduced at Quest on the upper ground floor. This is a unique store and has a direct connectivity with the hypermarket.
– Aajisai Japanese Restaurant with Sushi Conveyor Belt System: For the first time, we have a Teppanyaki grill in India, which has a sushi conveyor belt system. The Japanese restaurant was made open to the public and has found a very good response since opening.

Retail Concepts
-Movable Kiosks: The mall has brought in movable kiosks as a new retail concept. Currently, we have 136 stores and 18 kiosks including 2 movable kiosks. It gives us the fl exibility to test and find out where the brand clicks better. We also have more control over the space which helps plan the positive churning better and this is something which adds to the unique customer experience giving the patrons more options within the limited space.
– Pop-Up Space for New Designers: The mall has a dynamic venue called ‘LOFT’ which is located on the sixth floor and focuses on different popup events. We conduct events such as fashion shows, designer trunk shows,art exhibits, food pop-ups, jewellery shows there. There’s always something new and exciting happening. We have successfully got the attention of the best brands like Abu Jani–Sandeep Khosla, Berluti, Bvlgari, Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, Diesel, Rose (an Indian Jewelry House), to name a few.

What role does hospitality play in generating footfalls? What services do you offer patrons?

Hospitality plays a major role for the patrons. We have services like Concierge, Valet Services, AutoPay Parking Systems, ATMs, First Aid for Safety, Wheelchairs Assistance for Senior Citizens/ Handicapped, Restrooms for Handicapped/ Baby Sitting, etc. to name a few.

What innovative ideas are you implementing to ensure customer-centricity?

– Quest Floral Fantasy: Quest Floral Fantasy was born out of the idea of presenting an ‘International Flower Show’ to the patrons of the city. The duration of the event was one week from January 11-17, 2019. It will be a biennial event at Quest. Flower shows predominantly have always been outside and the challenges of executing breathtaking and spectacular displays of 8 global fl oral artists within a secured environment accompanied with handling of millions of people who go through one mall being the toughest challenge. However, the parameters evolved, and creativity and cooperation from World Association of Floral Arrangements (WAFA) and our local partners Pushpa Bitan took this to global recognition. The global artists themselves enamored by the recognition and love from the city of people and flower enthusiasts, who thronged the mall to enjoy some of the spectacular displays ever seen. We at Quest, now own another remarkable property which will evolve with time and we will present better at Quest Floral Fantasy.

Is there a need for Omnichannelisation of malls? Has Omnichannelisation played a major role in the mall in the past year? Your views.
It is important to keep up with the technical changes the industry is coming across to. In this endeavor, we are not taking any Omnichannel steps as we believe that this is something retailers need to do. We have kept in mind that thebrands we are bringing in are aggressive enough to meet the expectation of the customers at the brand level. Most of our brands have digital platforms inside the stores itself to give the customers options to choose and order from these platforms and take advantage of the technology at its best.

Tell us about your entertainment partners? Do you plan to bring on more renowned entertainment brands to your mall?

We have INOX, on the fourth floor, as our entertainment partner. INOX has 4 premium screens and 2 Gold screens with a capacity of around 1,300 seats and it fulfills the needs and demands of the movie lovers across the city. Additionally, there are 2 more entertainment zones for kids:
– 11-D on the third floor, which is a cinema hall with real effects meant for children but often enjoyed by the whole of the family along with kids.
– A toddler zone called as Kool Kidz at the basement besides Spencer’s, which also is a very important part of the mall.

Tell us about the food court? How much has it evolved in the last one year? What services and brands you have added to the food court?

Last year, there was an addition of homegrown brand Bombay Toastee and Waffle Wallah which was well received by the mall patrons and they are performing very decently. We have recently added Burger King in the month of August and Taco Bell will be the part of our food court from mid-September.

How much has the mall evolved on technological parameters in the last cycle?

We have come up with a very interactive mobile app which has the following features: fee online through self-checkout via the first-of-its-kind app feature
– Bluetooth Beacons: Flash offers in real-time to enhance shopping experience
– Walk & Win: Rewarding people who complete thresholds by mapping footsteps taken in the mall premises
– Selfie Filter: The app comes with a camera-integrated selfie filter
– Reservations for Dining Experiences: make reservations across in-house eateries via the Quest app

Tech Integration
– Automation in Parking Payments: We have automated pay parking kiosks which allow our customers to pay themselves and exit without the need to accumulate at one point and queue for payment
– Automation in Fire & Safety Management: We have CO sensors, in the basement parking, connected with the exhaust and ventilation fans so when the level of CO increases in the r sh hours, the fans start automatically
– Automation in Infrastructure: The escalators are remained turned off to conserve electricity.

2Crown Mall to Concentrate on Digital Technology to Attract Customers

Crown Mall, an important project from the Goel Builders is coming soon on Faizabad Road in Lucknow. The mall will feature a brilliant product mix and an exclusive selection of brands and products that aim to cater to the needs of the entire family. Designed for fun, entertainment and shopping and furnished beautifully, this arcadia is being designed to be one of the most graceful buildings in the area.

Major Attractions

The mall promises an unmatched cinema experience. The unique cinematic experience will include cutting edge cinema dynamics, ultra-luxury seating, wider screens as well as digital stereo sound. It is also in the process of developing a spectacular gaming zone, perfect for families with kids of various ages. An indoor amusement arena is also being designed, which promises to transport visitors to a completely new world. Apart from this, the mall promises national and international brands as anchor and vanilla stores, good food and beverage outlets along with events, activities involving community engagements.

Technology- Making an Impact

“Today shopping malls are deploying fast-evolving smart technologies to create digital connections. With the easy availability of the Internet, providing free Wi-Fi is no longer optional for malls that want to attract shoppers and keep them engaged,” says Yogendra Kumar Arya, General Manager, Crown Mall.

Technical delights at Crown Mall:

Beacon Technology: Internet-connected devices which use Bluetooth signals to connect with consumers who have downloaded the mall’s app to their mobile devices as they move between different areas of the mall. It’s not a one-size-fits- all approach; using additional data such as ‘dwell time’, retailers can send customized offers and messages to mall visitors.

Parking Sensors: Parking sensors are also being installed in the parking to monitor traffic levels and to help reduce time taken to enter and exit.

Digital Mall Directory: The digital mall directory will use visual recognition software to gather information about shoppers – their gender, age, ethnicity, accompanying children and then display messages and promotions that the software believes will be of interest to him/ her. As it collects and filters more data, the system gets smarter. It will be installed on every floor.

Customer Engagement Using Technology: A mall is a place where shoppers come by primarily for experience and with constantly evolving technology, this experience is only getting better and more refined; concepts like these have sprung out of our imaginations into tangible experiences. Taking this further, the mall can also have large digital signage that addresses shoppers and then displays their shopping profile for the benefit of the salesperson who can attend to them personally. This idea smartly integrates virtual as well as human interaction for the shopper; the availability of a “personal shopper” in brand stores and malls is also in vogue these days,” says Agarwal.

Customer Centricity
– Crown Mall aims to focus more on the customer-centricity by the following ideas:
– Train people in customer service
– Create awareness in your organisation
– Make customer satisfaction a priority
– Reward employees deliver high customer satisfaction
– Sharing customer success on platforms

Role of Hospitality

“It’s a known fact that food courts add value. The biggest contribution of a food court is to keep consumers engaged and makes them stay longer in the mall. Consumers spend almost 20 percent more in malls with good food courts. Food courts are very productive for malls, Guests love fast convenient food. And no matter how they buy it, food is a critically important part of social experience malls rely on to attract customers throughout the year. If malls cannot provide and be experiential for a customer, then we haven’t done a very good job. We are introducing a table mounted self-check-in menu, where guests can directly place the order from the table, it will help to make easier and faster service,” concludes Agarwal.

3Express Avenue: The Most Popular Retail Destination in Chennai

Express Avenue, the brainchild of its visionary 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. The mall 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.
The mall also follows a superior zoning strategy to ensure that stores are organized 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 mall management is now upgrading the same by bringing in more bridge-to-luxury brands.

Key Attractions

The three major key attractions of Express Avenue are as follows:
– 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 kids play zone, 5 D cinema and game shops.

“The mall has been truly blessed with a central location and enjoys a very 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 a competitive advantage over the other competitors,” says Munish Khanna, Chief Revenue Officer, Express Avenue.

Entertainment Partners

Funcity has been a trusted partner for Express Avenue since 2010. “Spread in the area of 20,000 sq. ft., the brand has been clocking fantastic numbers year on year. To strengthen the entertainment mix further, we have introduced a new concept brand Craash across 12,000 sq. ft.- Snow World, Cricket, Football and Jungle Safari. VR Cricket and Augmented Reality concepts have also been introduced so as to cater to a relatively younger and tech-savvy generation,” adds Khanna.

Food Courts

The third floor of the mall is dedicated to F&B. “Food and entertainment are the new anchors for malls and hence at Express Avenue food has taken the center stage. We have been watching the shift in the consumption pattern very closely more skewed towards Food and Entertainment and hence we have chosen to strengthen our FEC offerings. Food court has been recently upgraded to redefine the consumer experience. Lots of popular brands has been introduced to bring in strong footfalls replacing the weaker brands,” says Khanna.

KFC, Taco Bell, Arabian Hut, Street Food of Punjab Grill, Wow! Momos are some of the popular brands in the food court which have helped to get and retain footfalls in the mall. Other major crowd pullers include Nalaas Aapakadai, Wangs, Kapila Dasa for vegetarians, Entrée Restaurant, Exilir Bar, Chili’s, Domino’s Pizza and Burger King.

Success Rate

The year 2018-19 so far has been very good and promising for the brand. “Being the first organised mall in Chennai since 2010, EA is the most popular retail destination in the city, as we have a fine brand mix of international and national brands. Constant curation of brands and events ensure EA continues to stay relevant to the customers,” concludes Khanna.

4MGB Felicity Mall: Nellore’s One- Stop-Destination for Retail, Food & Entertainment

MGB Felicity Mall, the first of its kind in Nellore, has become a center of attraction for customers since its launch. Built and designed over a space of 3,20,000 sq. ft. with two basement parking spaces, MGB Felicity Mall, is the biggest mall of Andhra Pradesh. The mall encompasses a variety of retail outlets featuring different brands, apparel, food court, games and movies.

In an exclusive interaction with IMAGES Retail, Machani Gangadhar Gopala Krishna, Joint Managing Director, MGB Felicity Mall, talks about the success, growth and overwhelming response and joy that Felicity Mall is giving to the shoppers of Nellore.

Elaborate on the performance of the mall in the last cycle?

The mall performance has been quite steady in the last cycle and the credit of this growth goes to our anchor tenants, who have shown tremendous growth both in terms of footfall and revenue. As far as the success rate of the mall is concerned, major bands have posted double digits growth. Big Bazaar has posted 11 percent y-o-y growth, whereas Trends has posted 10 percent growth. MAX witnessed a growth of 8 percent whereas the cinema and FEC recorded the highest occupancy of 68 percent.

What are some unique store formats / retail concepts that you have introduced to bring in consumers?

Miniso launched its first store in Andhra Pradesh at Felicity Mall recently. The unique retail concept of the store was the star attraction of the mall as it received an overwhelming response from visitors. Similarly, QSR formats of McDonalds and KFC are also receiving a tremendous response.

What role does hospitality play in generating footfalls? What services do you offer patrons and why?

Hospitality plays a major role in customer satisfaction, particularly in Tier II city operations where people are emotionally more connected with malls. We have ensured that customers are greeted at the entry of the mall by security and parking attendants. There are escalators, lift boys at all floors to accommodate rural segment customers.

Tell us about your entertainment partners? Do you plan to bring more renowned entertainment brands to your mall?

High Volt from Hyderabad is the game zone operator for the mall. One cycle of new game introduction has been done recently and the entire gaming zone was reorganized by investing Rs 40 lakh for better customer experience. We have added lots of new attractions in the ground floor area. We are planning to introduce VR zone in future. There is a 5-screen multiplex with modern technology, which promises an exciting experience for the viewers.

Tell us about the food court? How much has it evolved in last one year?

Our food court is managed by an experienced operator from Bangalore. We have introduced a few changes in our food menu and have also made changes in the pricing and quantity of food on the menu. As a result, the business has grown by 12 percent Y-O-Y and new offerings are placed in from time to time.

How much has the mall evolved on technological parameters in the last cycle?

From the technological perspective, we have worked on the mall parking. We have introduced a Parking Software, which is also useful in mall promotions and in sending notifications to a customer as soon as he steps into the mall. All digital platforms are actively used and updated from time to time, giving an update of all mall happenings and promotions.

5Junction Mall’s New App a Database for All Mall Systems – Parking, Footfall & Zoning

In an exclusive chat with Shopping Centre News, Arijit Chatterjee, COO, Junction Mall, Durgapur, talks about the performance, success, growth and popularity of the mall in the last one year, its journey and its popularity.

Elaborate on the performance of the mall in the last cycle?

Junction Mall performance in the last cycle has been very progressive. Starting from the occupancy to footfall, food court sale to parking, in all nodes there is a growth over to past years. Occupancy has reached 94.4 percent from 81 percent, whereas footfall grew 15 percent over the previous year. Food court sales have increased by 35 percent and parking grew by 9 percent.

How do you rate the success of the mall in the past year?

The success of any mall is directly reflected by the performance of its brands – anchors and vanilla – as well as the food court. Since we are still in the renovation phase, it’s too early to rate our success but yes, there is a prospective growth which is visible if we consider factors like food court, parking, footfall, and performance of brands. Major anchors have an average growth of 20 to 25 percent Y-o-Y whereas major vanilla stores have recorded growth of near 20 to 35 percent Y-o-Y. The food court has a record growth of 35 percent Y-o-Y, which is highest percent growth since the mall was launched.

What are some unique store formats /retail concepts that you have introduced to bring in consumers?

We have introduced new brands like Lenskart and which have an Omnichannel platform. We are getting more footfalls because of their customer base on their digital platforms.

What role does hospitality play in generating footfalls?

Among new services, we have introduced many new facilities for moms and babies as well as handicapped people including baby feeding, baby care rooms, baby diaper changing stations, low height washroom for kids, handicapped toilet, additional first aid points etc.

What innovative ideas are you implementing to ensure customer centricity?

We are in a phase of implementing ‘Mall Software’ in the form of Android App. This will be a next level system which will be like the database of all mall systems including parking, footfall, zoning area reporting etc. along with micro level study of customers on their buying behavior, demographic classification etc.

What kind of exposure do homegrown brands get in your mall?

We give a percentage of retail space to homegrown brands to fi ll gaps in retail mix and to keep local touch.

Tell us about your entertainment partners?

Among entertainment partners, we have ‘Bioscope’ as a multiplex partner. We have a self-operated gaming zone. Also, we are in a plan of executing another game zone having all physical set of games where no electronic gadgets will be used.

Tell us about the food court? What services and brands you have added to the food court?

We are in a phase of renovating the food court to give a specific identity to our food court – Food Junction. We are getting a new look, new set of brands/formats. We are even working on expanding the area as well. Last financial year closed at a growth of 35 percent Y-o-Y. Recently, we have added London Shake, Subway, Cake’s & Confectionaries and are in process to add Haldirams too. We also have a plan to add local ready-to-eat cart formats as well.

How much has the mall evolved on technological parameters in the last cycle?

Initially, we are concentrating on the safety and security of the visitors. We have replaced our old systems and introduced an entire new set of online systems.

6KW Delhi 6: The Most Preferred Picnic & Recreation Spot in Delhi-NCR

KW Delhi 6, a commercial project by KW Group, located in Rajnagar Extension, Ghaziabad is giving its visitors a new dimension of imagination and their senses a high like never before. The location, connectivity and the ever-developing infrastructural facilities of Rajnagar along with the unique frontal sculpture garden has made KW Delhi 6 one of the most preferred picnic and recreation spots in Delhi-NCR. KW Delhi 6 has a magnificent elevation made extremely creatively, a modern landscape design as well as a spacious frontage.

The mall is a commercial project on a plot of 4 acres acquired as a freehold land in 2014 and the construction was initiated in June 2017.

“Right from the inception of the project, the main focus was to build a world-class high street shopping mall. There will be 683 retail shops. The construction is in the mid-stage and already some major pan India and global brands have associated with us and are ready to open their shops in KW Delhi 6. The major brands that have entered into an agreement with KW Group include Reliance Smart, Louis Philippe, Libas, Van Heusen, Himalaya Optics, Moti Mahal, Kiaasa, Peter England, Allen Solly, Elini, Nirula’s, WOW! Momo, Café Coffee Day, ChaiThela, Bread Crumbs, WOW China, BR Baskin Robbins, Raymond, Park Avenue and Being Human. We look forward to have more such associations,” says Pankaj Kumar Jain, Director, KW Group.

USP of the Mall

KW Delhi 6 offers games like Skeleton Dancing, AR & VR games, interactive flooring, holography, ice café, a 9D theatre, zip line, ATV tracks, drone racing humanoid, musical fountain and many more making the mall a fun, experiential shopping centre in the heart of Delhi-NCR. Alongside this, the mall offers the best in food and a wide variety of retail mix, making it the perfect family entertainment destination to visit in the city.


Customers today are extremely aware about technology and expect a mall to be updated with the latest in technology and innovations. Malls should have features that match international standards to draw in crowds.

“At KW Delhi 6, we have added many features to attract more footfalls. At the entry of the mall, we have musical fountain and lighting for our visitors which is operated by high tech gadgets. Besides we have an amphitheater where visitors can relax and listen to soothing music before entering the mall. We have fast capsule elevators and most updated electronic surveillance for the security purpose. The gaming area will have many latest electronic games, simulators, ATV Track, STYX, Skelton Dance, Zip Line, Holography, Interactive flooring, Robo goalkeeper, etc.,” explains Jain.

Customer Centricity

“KW Delhi 6 is not only a place for retail shopping. We have planned to make the mall attractive for every section and class of people. The mall has been basically planned to be a place for entertainment. We have simulated electronic kiosks in the ‘Gaming zone’ to attract kids and teenagers. We have accommodated spaces and FEC requirements for the parents accompanying the children to generate more footfalls. This will create a cross channel strategy to improve the users’ experience,” concludes Jain.

7Mantra Mall: Hyderabad’s Popular Retail-Cum- Entertainment Destination

Mantra Mall, conveniently located between the old city and new city and surrounding Attapur, is developing into a residential market in Hyderabad, making it an ideal retail destination. Housing a multitude of Indian and international brands, the mall has a comprehensive mix of shopping, food outlets and entertainment to deliver a distinctive and convenient world-class experience to its patrons.

Key Brands
The key brands present in the mall are:
– Pepe Jeans
– Pantaloons
– Reliance Trends
– Spykar
– Neerus

“Being in an extremely price sensitive market it was important to have popular local options alongside national retailers and we achieved a good balance that way. Local brands have also added more unique footfalls and we value them at par with other brands and off er them all kind of support at par with all other brands in the mall,” says Motilal Jain, Owner and Promoter, Mantra Mall.


Mantra Mall has food joints like KFC and McDonalds. The mall houses six Cinepolis screens, which are very popular among visitors and are frequently ‘house-full’, both on weekdays and weekends.

With Cinépolis Multiplex, the footfall of the mall has increased substantially andpeople of the ‘Twin Cities’ and particularly the surrounding area are quite fond of the ambiance and service of a world-class cinema.

To cater to the growing number of visitors, the mall has a massive parking lot and the parking fees are extremely affordable.

Brand Growth

The mall culture has been hugely successful amongst all retail formats across South India. Mantra Mall on its part, has been working on parameters that will help increase the brand’s popularity. “More than 95 percent of our area has been leased as of now, and as far as the Y-o-Y footfalls of the mall, sales of the retail tenants and multiplex occupancy are concerned, they are all on an upward trajectory. Development of large residential projects in the vicinity and availability of large tracts of land for future residential development, and the absence of quality retail options in this part of the city have helped our brand reach out to a large new clientele every year and will continue to do so in the coming years,” says Jain.

Unique Retail Formats

Apart from Cinepolis, MAX and Pantaloons, Mantra Mall has Busters, their own FEC brand, which is very popular among Millennials for its unique concept and format.

The newly-renovated Busters is a full-fledged FEC offering for the people of Hyderabad. The concept was created to introduce world-class gaming, entertainment and leisure formats to the metro markets, and tap into the FEC potential of Tier II & III markets across India.

Success Rate

The mall has been doing exceptionally well as far as popularity, revenue and footfall are concerned. “We have been constantly attracting footfalls above 20,000 per day and our retailers have been doing exceptional numbers compared to their other stores in the city. Our food and entertainment sales have grown phenomenally in the last cycle,” concludes Jain.

8The Bokaro Mall: A Unique Shopping Ambiance with Designer Merchandise, Lifestyle Products & Fine Dine Services Under One Roof

‘The Bokaro Mall’ by Amit Realty Private Limited, has been designed to establish itself as a brand synonymous with luxury and opulence. It caters to the unique aspirations of the denizens of Bokaro, offering them their first peek into international lifestyle and luxury. Boasting of a unique shopping ambiance, where the accent is on space, aesthetics and exclusivity, the mall offers an unmatched experience for shoppers showcasing an incredible variety of ultra-premium and designer merchandise, lifestyle products and top-of-the-line services – all showcased under one roof.

Key Brands

The key brands present in the mall are:
– Nike
– Manyavar
– Pantaloons Women

Role of Hospitality and Customer Centricity

Hospitality reflects the feeling of familiarity and security that customers experience when they enter the mall. The customers know what level of service and quality to expect from the shopping mall.

“Festival offers, loyalty customers scheme, personalised/customised greetings and updating the customers on fresh offers and programs have been supportive in establishing caring and personalised connection with the patrons. It’s been observed that customers in loyalty programs return twice as often. By creating a reward program, we encourage repeat customers and build a rapport with our clientele. A punch card loyalty program is a great incentive for customers to continuously return to our business,” says Amit Tekriwal, Director, Amit Realty Pvt Ltd.

Omnichannelisation of Malls

Omnichannelisation of the mall is a necessity today. Every retailer and shopping mall have a website today, by which they optimise the demands of the customer. The Bokaro Mall has a website where they keep updating the offers, promotions and scheme to keep its customers informed.

Exposure to Homegrown Brands

The Bokaro Mall initiates on organising exhibitions and fairs in their premises where local traders and organic product merchants can showcase their product. This helps them in creating local connect with the merchants as they also get a platform to promote their product. “It is a state of the art establishment and brings a sense of pride and prestige for us,” says Tekriwal.


PVR is the multiplex partner of the mall.The three screens multiplex is very much popular amongst the visitors, due to its service and ambiance. The third floor of the mall is dedicated to the foodcourt. The 250 seating capacity foodcourt has brands like Moti Mahal, CCD, PHD and food counters of diverse cuisines.

“The food court and the mall are technologically equipped and updated. We off er a mouthwatering array of gourmet delights for foodies. The restaurants located within the mall are managed by culinary experts and renowned chefs who would complete mesmerize you with their culinary concoctions,” says Tekriwal.

9Mall of Travancore: The Unrivaled Destination for Shopping, Dining &Entertainment in Thiruvanathapuram

Located in the heart of Thiruvananthapuram, Mall of Travancore is the new, striking and unrivaled destination for shopping, dining and entertainment for consumers of all ages in the city and around. Developed by Malabar Developers, it is the first shopping mall of the city which is a very popular iconic landmark. Aside from this, Mall of Travancore – which spans over 6.5 lakh sq.ft, comprising 6 fl oors, including parking and premium retail space– is the first green mall of the region.

“With beautiful landscapes and one of the biggest vertical gardens, Mall of Travancore offers a very serene and scenic venue for shopping, dining and entertainment,” says Hari Suhas, Centre- Head, Mall of Travancore.

Unique Concepts

Mall of Travancore houses more than 110 national and international brands and is known for its trending, unique and distinctive retail concepts in various brands.

“Playaza, Lifestyle, Miniso, Malabar Gold & Diamonds, Azad are some distinctive retail concepts that we have experimented with. Apart from this, to pique customer interest in different phases, we rolled out one of the most expensive and exuberant Raffle draw (prizes worth more than Rs 6 crore) as well as Scratch & Win contests (worth above Rs 10 lakh). We also have a huge number of entertainment events happening weekly that includes mega movie events,” says Suhas.

Customer Centricity & Hospitality

Hospitality and customer-centricity playan immense role in retaining customers.

“We at Malabar Group give substantial importance to customer care, security as well as mall maintenance (M24), always ensuring that they feel comfortable, secure and assisted while at the mall premises. Our hashtag #nammadeMoT (which translates to ‘Our MoT’), is one of the most trending regional hashtags in the mall sector. To increase the visibility of it, we have even created a large size proportion of the same, which occupies centre stage at our mall entrance,” says Suhas.

Apart from this, the mall has customer videos as well as candid customer pictures (candid walls) playing on LED screens across the mall. Yet another key attraction is the mall’s upcoming loyalty program that is being rolled out in phases.

“A CSR effort of MoT that deserves mention is our ‘Snehadeepom’, that had an immense role in raising awareness as well as aggregating collections for the Kerala floods last year as well as this year,” Suhas adds.


Playaza, Carnival Cinemas, Foin VR, Streat etc. are some of the prominent players that are present in the mall.

“Inarguably, the future of malls is in the strength of their unique FECs, therefore we are planning to add more players to the current list. Our food court is spacious housing 26 brands (including fi ne dine restaurants) serving some of the best and most exquisite of cuisines to our customers,” says Suhas.

Omnichannelisation of Malls

“Undoubtedly, Omnichannel retail is the need of the hour. Though we are yet to get our MoT online store fully functional, we wholeheartedly believe in and push Omnichannelisation in every aspect of our mall operations,” states Suhas.

Success Rate

The year 2018-19 so far has been very good and promising for the brand. “Our mall has managed to achieve a trade density of 1250, in less than a year, even with expanding e-commerce. From the technological prospect, we believe in transforming mall experience by leveraging technology and implementing multi-channel strategies. Our huge database and intelligent dashboards that point us to the correlation between footfalls and average customer spend category wise, enables us to channel the right offers to the right target groups,” Suhas concludes.

A multimedia journalist with over eleven years of experience in print and digital media, Sandeep Kumar is assistant editor with Images Group. Books, retail, sports and cinema are an inextricable part of his life.