#SCAIMONDAYS Livestream reveals post lockdown nationwide trends from mall openings
The 9th #SCAIMondays looked back at the fortnight that was since the reopening of many shopping centres across India beginning June 8. The earlier two shows with participants from 100+ cities and 50+ centres brought insights on customer spending, shopping patterns and behaviours. Now with approximately 80 percent occupancy and around 425 malls opening doors, the third ‘live from ground zero’ show revealed a lot of new trends with 20+ centres in metros, Tier I & II, rural & smaller cities sharing consumer shopping behavior. Shopping centre heads and executives discussed footfalls, conversions, consumer demographics, out of-the-box retail innovations, average dwell time, revenge buying’ etc., along with the new emerging trends.
The session was anchored by Rashmi Sen, Group COO-Malls, The Phoenix Mills Ltd. The analysts present in the session were Gopal Machani, Jt. MD, MGB Felicity Mall, Nellore; Mohit Pruthi, VP-Head Retail, Marketing & Brand Communication, Bharti Realty, Delhi and Umang Mittal, ED, PRM Begraj Group, Siliguri.
The panel included:
– Aditya Shah, CFO, Gulmohar Park Mall, Ahmedabad
– Akhil Dalmia, CFO, PRM Marketcity, Cooch Behar & Raiganj, Vega Mall & Cosmos Mall, Siliguri
– Amrik Panesar, Chief Asset Officer, Capital Mall, Bhopal
– Anshul Jain, Centre Head, DB Mall, Gwalior
– Bharat Shishodia, Centre Head, Vegas Mall, Delhi
– Blisson Antony, Mall Manager, Sobha City Mall, Thrissur
– Gaurav Agarwal, Director, SRS City Mall, Lucknow
– Hrishie Raj, PRO & Marketing, ML Plaza & SSR Cinema, Agartala
– Indraneel Majumdar, Centre Head, Sarath City Capital Mall, Hyderabad
– Justin Masih, Head of Malls, Gaur Group, Noida
– Komal Prasad B, AVP – Member Experiences, RMZ Galleria, Bengaluru
– Lakshmi Menon, Head Leasing, Abad Nucleus Mall, Kochi
– Muhamed Fawas, Assistant Director, Hilite Mall, Calicut
– Pankaj Pandey, Mall Manager, Pavilion Mall, Ludhiana
– Sunil Agrawal, Group CEO, Prakash Jha Group of Companies (P&M Mall – Patna & Jamshedpur)
– Swagata Mitra, Ops Head, Forum Courtyard, Kolkata
– Vaibhav More, Centre Head, Vega Mall, Bengaluru
Rashmi Sen, Group COO-Malls, The Phoenix Mills Ltd welcomed the panel and expressed her happiness over the fact that shopping malls are almost 100 percent operational (minus cinema and entertainment zones) pan India. Only malls in Mumbai and Chennai are yet to witness the excitement levels of shopping in COVID times.
Gopal Machani, Jt. MD, MGB Felicity Mall, Nellore highlighted the change in shopping patterns so far, saying, “In these fifteen days, we have witnessed that the consumer who is coming out to shop is very focused on serious buying. The conversion rate in every mall has increased by 50-60 percent. The average bill value has also increased by 20 percent. Every person entering the store is buying 3.6 pieces of garments. The overall business is down by 30 percent in comparison to last year’s data, but we are witnessing week-on-week growth increasing by 10-15 percent.”
Mohit Pruthi, VP-Head Retail, Marketing & Brand Communication, Bharti Realty, Delhi added to this saying, “We have seen emergence of new consumer behavior in the post COVID era. People are finally gaining confidence to come out and shop. The number of shoppers has gone up by 3X from Day 1 of opening. The segments that have seen maximum surge are grocery, electronics, children equipment, health and beauty. The footfalls are increasing slowly, and rate of conversion has gone up by 15-20 percent. We except the recovery period to be normal by the next quarter.”
Umang Mittal, ED, PRM Begraj Group, Siliguri highlighted his experience to the panel saying, “The real shopping in the malls began only in the second week. Sales in our mall are coming back to 20 percent of the normal. Since Siliguri is highly driven by the other markets such as Sikkim, Darjeeling and even Bhutan and Nepal, our secondary catchment is totally missing out and we are dependent on the primary catchment as if now. Smaller towns are slightly ahead in the curve in comparison to Tier I cities and this is very positive news for us. The ‘MAX’ store in Malda with an area of 9,000 sq.ft did a sale of 2.8 lakhs in 6 hours.”

1. Mall Opening Infographics

Conversions & occupancy averaging 75 pc in malls; Grocery, electronics, athleisure, kidswear, personal care & foreign fast food drive sales

Footfalls, Conversion, Average Dwell time in Pre and Post COVID Times

*Post Lockdown – Multiplex, Game Zone & Bar cum Restaurants NOT OPENED YET- Hence the occupancy level can’t reach 100 pc

2. What’s Selling Hot


3. Gulmohar Park Mall, Ahmedabad

Aditya Shah, CFO: “The first week wasn’t good for us as the mall didn’t open up with large occupancy. Few retailers were still in discussion with the terms of agreement and did open up their stores only in second week. The second week saw good traction in terms of business and footfalls. Zodio and MAX reached 60-70 percent of their normal business on weekends. Brand with value for money are doing well. Since reopening the mall is receiving an average footfall of 6000 and the conversion rate is 94 percent. The average dwell time of the consumer in mall is 30 minutes. The foodcourt is functional and the most outlets are taking maximum delivery orders. Discount coupons are being given with a timing of one and half year so that consumers can redeem it. Electronics and household categories witnessed maximum shopping. In fashion (men, women and kidswear) are getting a good response, along with the electronics and grocery stores. Youngsters and people upto 40 years of age are coming to the mall in large numbers. Around 20 percent of the growth was seen in weekend-to-weekend business. Most of the retailers have agreed to share a higher CAM with us. This is very positive news.”
What’s Selling Hot: Electronics, Fridge, AC, Food & Grocery

4. PRM Marketcity, Cooch Behar & Raiganj, Vega Mall & Cosmos Mall, Siliguri

Akhil Dalmia, CFO says that all their malls are operational and have opened with 70 percent occupancy.
Vega Mall: The mall opened on June 8, with 85 percent occupancy and witnessed a conversion rate of 75 percent. The average footfall was 600 in weekdays and 800 in the weekends. The average dwell time was around 45 minutes. The shopping population constituted of people with age groups between 20-40 along with middle-aged men and young women.
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (kidswear), Footwear & Accessories (activewear), Sportswear & Athleisure, Gym & Fitness, Home & Interiors, Food & Grocery
PRM Market City: The mall opened on June 8, with 70 percent occupancy and witnessed a conversion rate of 75 percent. The average footfall was 500 in weekdays and 600 in the weekends. The average dwell time was around 30 minutes. The shoppers were of mix age group.
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (kidswear), Footwear & Accessories (active wear, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Food & Grocery

5. Capital Mall, Bhopal

Amrik Panesar, Chief Asset Officer: “The mall reopened on June 9. We are witnessing better sales as the mall has so many brands that have only one outlet present in the entire city. We are following all the guidelines and recommendations mentioned by the Government since reopening. We were not allowed to open the mall in weekends and sales got impacted by that. Even the mall timing (11 am to 8 pm) has also not been favourable from the mall perspective.
Currently, we are doing 75 percent sales of what the mall was doing in February. Despite the fear factor, customers’ response has been good. The walk-in percentage in malls has increased by 15 percent week-on-week. Mall sales have gone up by 13 percent. We expect the things to improve and come on track by the time of Diwali.
We have received 30 percent of pre-COVID walk-in our mall and the conversion rate has been 85 percent. The average dwell time has been 45 minutes. We have also witnessed the case of ‘revenge buying’. The maximum percentage of the shoppers is females with only 30 percent of men and 10 percent families.
We are re-focussing on our drive to become India’s first Smart Mall, something which we had initiated three years ago. Looking at the current trends and scenarios, we strongly believe in rolling out the ‘smart mall’ concept at the earliest, that will include an AI-assisted mall way finder, Intelligent parking systems, visual digital interface throughout the mall.”
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (men, women and kidswear), Sportswear & Athleisure, Footwear & Accessories, Salons & Personal Care, Home Interiors, Food & Grocery

6. DB Mall, Gwalior

Anshul Jain, Centre Head: “The first week response was slow as only 50 percent of the mall was operational. With mall occupancy opening up by 80-85 percent in the second week, we have seen very good turnout so far. The conversion level is good with 20-25 percent footfalls. The mall food court is operational and is witnessing a turnout of 25-30percent for the dine-in. The maximum business is happening through delivery and takes away orders. The EOSS is coming up and we are excited about it, as we hope to attract more consumers to the mall by this.”

7. Vegas Mall, Delhi

Bharat Shishodia, Centre Head: “The mall reopened on June 10 and since then we have seen a good response from the shoppers. There is a consolidation in number of families visiting the mall. As compared to post COVID period, now only one or two member in the family is coming to the mall. As Vegas is a new center, we are yet to see our first fresh sales numbers. We are happy that we are achieving 80 percent of what we have targeted for this unlocking. We witnessed 20-25 percent footfalls in the first week and it grew by 35 percent in the second week. The conversion rate was around 70 percent. Brands like Puma, Under Armour and Lifestyle did great sales. Categories like electronics and home appliances are also doing well. The average dwell time has been 50 minutes while the age group of the shoppers is mostly between 20 to 40 years.
To boost consumers’ confidence, we have put campaigns highlighting the safety measures, along with the shoppers’ testimony on our digital platforms. We have introduced so many safety measures in the mall focusing on the technology. Controlled occupancy, contactless service in the mall and parking, QR scanning at the foodcourts are some of the things introduced by the mall.”
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (men, women and kidswear), Sportswear & Athleisure, Gym & fitness, Salons & Personal Care, Food & Grocery, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants

8. Sobha City Mall, Thrissur

Blisson Antony, Mall Manager: “Kerala has been quite ahead in containing the spread of virus. But the area surrounding the mall was highly infected and we had to face many challenges. People were not allowed to come out of their homes. We witnessed the highest footfalls on the very first day and then it reduced due to the number of cases in the area. We opened with 55 percent occupancy. Some of the retailers are still in negotiation of the rental waiver and has not opened their stores so far. The conversion rate has been very good. We need to build a bit more confidence in the shoppers and we are hoping that there will be more business and footfalls in the coming days.
We have given everything possible to the retailers to come out of the situation. We have given rental waivers, discounts on CAM and I think it is the time for them to reciprocate. We have taken all measures and opened the mall for them, and they need to work with the mall in order to bring back the consumer confidence.”

9. SRS City Mall, Lucknow

Gaurav Agarwal, Director: “We opened in the first week with 50 percent mall occupancy and got 100 percent occupancy by the second week. The average footfalls were initially 800-900 in a day, but this picked up later. Electronics has been the biggest performer in the mall. The sale in electronic stores has gone up to Rs 8-9 lakh per day. Pantaloons also witnessed Rs 2-3 lakh sales in a day. F&B is also doing good as Burger King is doing a business of Rs 50-1 lakh business per day with very less sit-outs.”
What’s Selling Hot: Electronics, Fashion (casual and active), F&B

10. ML Plaza & SSR Cinema, Agartala

Hrishie Raj, PRO & Marketing: “Our main customer base is from Bangladesh. The maximum stores in the mall are dependent on Bangladeshi shoppers, as Dhaka is just four hours away from Agartala. The average footfall after reopening has been 1800-2000, mostly family crowd. Big bazaar is doing excellent as is getting Rs 7-8 lakh average sales these days. All the stores are doing well but we are still waiting for Bangladeshi consumers. CCD is doing well. People are aware and the mall is taking all the measures.”
What’s Selling Hot: Food & Grocery, Restaurants

11. Sarath City Capital Mall, Hyderabad

Indraneel Majumdar, Centre Head: “The mall reopened on June 8 and since then we have seen a mixed response. As our GLA is spread over eight floors, we faced a huge challenge in implementing all the security measures. So far, 293 stores are operational currently and the others will be opening soon. The food court is operational and is facing the maximum impact of the situation. Out of 68 outlets, only 29 are operational currently. The total number of footfalls in this unlock period has been 1.36 lakhs. Shoppers are coming out to buy only essential things. The conversion rate in the first week was 74 percent and currently it stands at 65 percent in the second week. The average dwell time currently is one hour twenty minutes. The crowd coming to the mall is mostly families. The fashion segment, especially womenswear, is doing well with 25 percent, women western 15 percent, men western is 22 percent, kids 7 percent and home and interior is getting a sales of around 15 percent.
We also came up with two retail innovations for our buyers. The first one is the ‘Studio Experience’, in which the stores with designer stuff like jewellery are inviting one consumer at a time in the store. A reserve board is kept outside till the time the consumer is inside the store. This is more like giving exclusive service to individual shoppers. Consumers can book their slot easily. The second one is a ‘Shopping Valet’ wherein we are providing more value service to the shoppers.”
What’s Selling Hot: Womenswear (Indian and western, Menswear, Kidswear, Home and Interiors

12. Gaur Group, Noida

Justin Masih, Head of Malls: “The mall so far has got very good response in the reopening period. The footfalls have been quite good. We are getting an average footfall of 4,000 on a daily basis. The conversion rate has been 70 percent. Electronics segment is doing very well. The mall is 70 percent operational currently. People are buying casual wear more as brands like MAX, Trends are getting good footfalls. We are getting a good mix of consumers in the mall, including families and younger crowd along with kids. The average dwell time has been 30 minutes. As the mall is surrounded by residential societies, we are getting more family crowd. The innovations done at the food court are ‘Cashless transaction with single billing and food delivery on counters.”
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (casualwear – men & women), Salons & Personal Care, Footwear & Accessories, Home & Interiors (Refrigerators, AC, Mobiles, Electronics brands, Food & Grocery

13. RMZ Galleria, Bengaluru

Komal Prasad B, AVP – Member Experience: “Since reopening we have received excellent response from the consumers. The first day saw a huge turnout as visitors queued outside the mall before the opening time. The mall ensured all the norms of social distancing are implemented correctly. We are getting an average footfall of 3,100 on a daily basis. The dwell time has been 45 minutes to one hour. The conversion rate has gone by a good number. Before lockdown, the average sale per person was Rs 650 which has now gone up by Rs 1,200.
Currently the mall occupancy is around 60 percent and we have seen a lot of revenge buying in the mall, in form of jewellery and electronics. As far as ‘Out of the Box Retail Innovation’ is concerned, we introduced Omnichannel sales through DOTpe. We are also running a campaign called ‘Unlock Responsibly’, in terms to reach out a wider audience. We tend to reach out more by radio voiceover and print ads.”
What’s Selling Hot: Jewellery & Watches, Gym & Fitness, Personal Digital Assistants, Food & Grocery.

14. Nucleus Mall, Kochi

Lakshmi Menon, Head Leasing: “We opened with 65 percent occupancy on June 9 and received around 35 percent footfalls on June. Since then, we have been getting majority family crowds and younger crowd. Casual wears and essential items are getting maximum footfalls. Visitors are doing only focused shopping and there is no window shopping at all. The conversion rate has been 100 percent since reopening. The average dwell time is 1-2 hours currently.
The mall is taking every possible security measure to make the consumers feel secure and comfortable. The consumer demographic is majorly tilted towards a family crowd, with the bulk of shopping revolving around essential items shopping currently.”
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (Men, women, kidswear), Sportswear & Athleisure, Sportswear & Athleisure, Gym & Fitness, Salons & Personal Care, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Home & Interiors

15. Hilite Mall, Calicut

Muhamed Fawas, Assistant Director: “Our mall was partially operational, and the second phase of the launch was scheduled to happen in March but was interrupted by COVID-19. We started by opening the hypermarket in the reopening phase and got an overwhelming response. As far as the footfalls are concerned, we are receiving similar numbers as we used to get before COVID.
We have opened with 80 percent of the mall occupancy. The food court is also open but only a few outlets are operational, due to the staff and labour shortage. We are following all recommendations and safety measures to regain consumer confidence, but this is a new shopping experience after all and the result will be seen in coming days.”
What’s Selling Hot: Food & Grocery

16. Pavilion Mall, Ludhiana

Pankaj Pandey, Mall Manager: “We faced a similar set of challenges as compared with other malls. We had difficulties getting retailers on board, with a number of negotiations happening with them. Now, footfalls are improving with 1,500 people a day. The conversion rate is good. In Punjab we have still not been allowed to open F&B and currently we are working more on planning the opening of outlets smartly, when we get permission. The average dwell time has reduced to 40 minutes from two hours.
So far the Skincare category has done phenomenal sales. Hamleys, Mothercare and similar brands have done very well. Sales of the electronics items have gone up too. As the trial rooms are not functional right now, the retailers are facing some problems as it is impacting the sales. Perhaps giving more time to return or exchange the products will solve this situation. The conversion rate has gone upto 90 percent after reopening. The sales are at 50 percent of pre-COVID levels on all the operational stores. The shoppers are majorly middle-aged with 70 percent of them women. The mall is working on introducing contactless dining and contactless parking.”
What’s Selling Hot: Footwear & Accessories, Sportswear & Athleisure, Salons & Personal Care, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Food & Grocery

17. P&M Mall – Patna & Jamshedpur

Sunil Agrawal, Group CEO, Prakash Jha Group of Companies: “Currently, the Patna mall is operational, whereas Jamshedpur malls are yet to open. After COVID, we are facing lots of challenges. Earlier we used to get 20-25,000 footfalls but now we are getting 2000-3000 only. The second week saw a growth and we received a footfall of around 5000. The conversion rate is much better and currently stands at 40 percent. The average dwell time is 3 hours currently.
We are witnessing real buyers in the mall. The overall sales have been much lower. Big Bazaar is doing only 25 percent of what it was doing earlier. Meena Bazaar is doing a sale of Rs. 1 lakh on a daily basis. Allen Solly, Van Heusen, and Titan are also doing well. We are taking all safety measures in the mall. We are also giving radio ads and print ads in media to make the customers aware of our safety measures. We have given 100 percent rental waiver to all the brands in the mall during lockdown and are giving as much as support in the Unlock period as well.”
What’s Selling Hot: Fashion (women and kids), Footwear & Accessories, Jewellery & Watches, Sportswear & Athleisure, Salons & Personal Care, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Food & Grocery

18. Forum Courtyard, Kolkata

Swagata Mitra, Ops Head: “We opened the mall on June 19 and the mall timing was 12 to 8 PM. We have taken all the safety measures and also launched a Forum Courtyard App which is also connected with Aarogya Setu app. Every individual (staff or consumer) has to scan the QR code at the entry point and then only the entry is given in the mall. We have installed pedal operated taps in our washrooms so that customers can avoid touching them.
Footfall is a concern as the second week saw very less people in the mall. But since we have started recently, things will improve in coming days. The dwell time has decreased to 20-40 minutes. The conversion rate has been 40 percent. Categories such as personal care, sportswear are doing well. A few retailers have kept new UVC boxes. As there are no trial rooms operating, customers can put the clothes back in the UVC box and it disinfects the clothing.
What’s Selling Hot: Comfortable Clothing, Personal Care Brands, Electronics

19. Vega Mall, Bengaluru

Vaibhav More, Centre Head: “We opened on June 8 and the response from consumers and retailers was very good. We are getting 38 percent of the footfalls. There is a change in the buying pattern and the shopping behavior of the consumer. People are fully focused on serious buying. F&B is currently struggling, and we are working on the measures so gain the consumers faith and they return to this category as well. The guidelines and safety measures are implemented quite effectively. 80 percent of the mall is operational. Apparels segment is doing average business, whereas electronics is the best performer for the mall so far. Hypermarket is doing the same amount of business which it was doing in the lockdown period. Blame it to Solar Eclipse, but the weekdays had more traffic than the weekends. The average dwell time has been 1 hour so far.
We did lots of innovation, interaction and engagements with our customers on our social media platform. We did 50 Live sessions in the lockdown duration. We were running Retail Trivia and contests throughout the period and gave Electronic Gift Vouchers to our patrons as awards.”
What’s Selling Hot: Jewellery & Watches, Sportswear & Athleisure, Salons & Personal Care, Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Home & Interiors, Food & grocery, Fashion (men, women, kids)

20. Phoenix United Bareilly & Lucknow

Sanjeev Sarin, North Head says that both the malls reopened on June 8, with 89 percent of mall occupancy. The response from the shoppers was quite overwhelming.
Phoenix United Lucknow: The mall witnessed a footfall trend of 21144 in the first week and 21893 in the second week. The conversion rate was around 90 percent. The average dwell time has been 1.5 hours. So far, the shoppers coming to the mall are between age group 18-55. The retail innovations done by the mall was the introduction of ‘Contactless Payment Method’ with the help of Dotpe at the food court and parking.
What’s Selling Hot: Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants (42 percent of total sales), Food & Grocery (33 percent of total sales)
Phoenix United Bareilly: The mall witnessed a footfall of 3000 per day. The conversion rate was good and average per consumer purchase was Rs 1,000. The average dwell has been 1.5 hours. The innovations done by the mall was:
– Footfall density count mechanism through camera integrated AI
– Foot sanitisation mat at the entry
– UV box for disinfecting the merchandise and personal belongings
– Contactless payments in Parking & Food court, F&B outlets
– Robust SOP’s on Food delivery to avoid exposure to COVID infection
What’s Selling Hot: Consumer Electronics & Personal Digital Assistants, Food & Grocery