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Oberoi Mall: From a mere retail destination to a family entertainment centre

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Envisioned as a fashion and entertainment destination, Oberoi Mall opened its doors for shoppers on April 15, 2008. The mall, which will soon be celebrating its 12th anniversary, it has occupied a significant position in the minds of shoppers and retailers alike. Situated on the Western Express Highway, the mall has a total GLA of 5,52,000 sq. ft.

The mall has distinguished itself as something truly special in the retail landscape and prides itself on reflecting and enabling customers’ lifestyles and delivering affordable luxury with a philosophy of ‘customer first’. Towards this, the mall has many facilities to offer its consumers apart from retail, the foremost being unmatched entertainment options.

“In the past few years, malls have transformed from being just aggregators of shops to a hub of experiences, entertainment and leisure where people come to rejuvenate, socialise, mingle and engage. Offering a complete experience with a combination of
shopping, dining and entertainment is what makes a mall attractive and distinctive in the minds of its patrons,” says Anuj Arora, General Manager, Oberoi Mall.

In space-starved metropolitan cities, malls offer not just cinema for entertainment but also gaming zones, family entertainment centres (FECs) and recreation options that target all age groups. The importance of the FEC category is, therefore, growing for all malls, especially if they want to stay relevant in today’s times.

A Community Engagement Space

At Oberoi Mall, all strategies are directed towards providing a holistic and fulfilling experience to the patrons. Accordingly, having the right and optimum FEC mix and offerings is of paramount importance to the mall management.

“At Oberoi Mall, we have a Family Entertainment Centre (FEC) NAMCO, the first of its kind in India, which provides a fun-filled entertainment zone for kids and adults alike. Built according to the Japanese standards of safety, the vibrant facility is designed on the theme of Pac-Man. The centre offers unique and immersive 3D/4D experiences such as Star Wars,Adventure and Horror themed games and a larger than life PacMan LED console. The centre also offers large-scale children’s play equipment and one of India’s largest and most exciting redemption zone,” says Arora.

In addition to this, the mall also has a state-of-the-art multiplex – PVR ICON – where movie enthusiasts get to experience
the one of a kind P[XL] screen with Dolby Atmos moving sound technology, dual 4k projections and customized 4D glasses.

“PVR ICON also houses a unique kids’ offering – Playhouse,
an exclusive one-of-a-kind movie experience in Mumbai made for both kids and adults who wish to keep their inner child alive. With its vibrant ambience, colourful snakes and ladder décor, seating and an in-slide within the auditorium, Playhouse is a huge hit amongst our younger patrons and parents who want their kids to be productively engaged while they watch a movie,” states Arora.

“In fact, with the introduction of Playhouse, parents have got access to a superb and an allimmersive venue for hosting the most unforgettable birthday party for their children. Every other week or so, Playhouse is either hosting celebrity kids and influencers promoting leading animation and PG movies or hosting fun birthday parties,” he adds.

Currently, FEC contributes 8-10 percent of the total mall sales.

Marrying Technology with Entertainment

To offer an unmatched experience to patrons, the FEC players at Oberoi Mall are integrating technology with their offerings in a big way.

“Right from smart cards for recharge value and ticket redemptions to state-of-the-art latest 3D/4D experiences in the gaming arena where gaming consoles provide life-like visual and sound effects, NAMCO has integrated technology every step of the way. In fact, the 4-D horror game, Dark Escape, in specific, also displays the player’s heartbeat from ‘normal’ to ‘panicked’ to provide an immersive gaming experience,” Arora states.

“Our multiplex partner, PVR ICON, provides state-of-the-art facilities where movie enthusiasts get to experience the one of a kind P[XL] screen with Dolby Atmos moving sound technology, dual 4k projections and customized 4D glasses,” he adds.

FECs: An Added Boon

Entertainment is one category that is not age or gender specific. Kids and adults alike are looking for ways to constantly keep themselves engaged and entertained, and FECs help bring in repeat and unique footfalls to the mall. In a space starved metropolitan city like Mumbai, a general trend has emerged over the years where patrons repeat their visit if a mall successfully engages customers with its exciting and unique offerings of multiplex, entertainment, F&B and events such as informative workshops, festivals, exhibitions, etc.

“Year-round line ups of movie releases catering to all age groups and demographics also ensure that repeat as well as unique footfalls continue to walk-in to the mall on a consistent basis. Both NAMCO and PVR ICON ensure that their team leaves no stone unturned in providing our patrons a seamless and memorable experience. As a mall, we also engage with our patrons with a year-round event calendar which keeps the buzz going in the main atrium of the mall,” Arora explains.

“Our FEC partners cater to patrons regardless of age or gender. NAMCO houses a special play area for toddlers, a large soft play area for kids and a host of exciting VR and other engaging games based on skill and luck with a redemption counter providing options for all age groups,” he adds.

Supporting FEC Partners

Just like all its other retail partners, Oberoi Mall ensures that its FEC partners are provided with similar marketing and branding support to promote and increase the awareness of their offerings.

“For FEC in specific, apart from regular promotions across online and other platforms, we conduct special events attracting kids and families to the mall. Be it a special toon visit or movie activation, we keep ensuring sustained footfalls to such partners by doing events focused around families and children. Given the unique offerings at NAMCO and PVR Playhouse, we receive regular requests for many courtesy shoots of TV celebrities and
leading child artists and are very often mentioned by influencers
and mommy bloggers in their social media handle capturing their experience at these outlets,” concludes Arora.

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