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Shah Rukh Khan drives footfall to malls with his movie Pathaan

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The release of the SRK-starret Pathaan is expected to increase mall footfall by 25-30%, the biggest beneficiary of which will be foodcourts

New Delhi: The release of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Pathaan movie is attracting droves of people to multiplexes all over the country and the response to the movie has energized Bollywood. The release of the movie is also somewhat energizing another quarter of the consumer-facing business: Retailers.

“The release of Pathaan is good as multiplexes are even starting early shows and all of them are full houses. It will definitely increase footfalls as with the long weekend, it gives people reasons to stay longer in malls,” said Deepak Zutshi, centre head of Select Citywalk Mall in New Delhi, a prominent mall that is home to a PVR multiplex.

“It will help the food and beverage sector and increase footfall at food courts by 10-15% and even other categories will benefit from it. Last time, Avatar (a Hollywood movie) brought some footfall but lately, there hasn’t been a big Bollywood release so Pathaan definitely will help.”

Sandeep Ray, centre head of Viviana mall in Thane near Mumbai, said malls usually experience a higher footfall during long weekends.

“The upcoming release is expected to get 25%-30% more customers to multiplexes, which will, in turn, benefit the mall,” Ray said whose mall in Mumbai is home to a 14-screen Cinépolis with 4DX, IMAX, Dolby Atmos, Cinépolis VIP, RealD 3D and 4K projection system.  “We expect an increase of 7%-10% in footfall, out of which most will be in food and beverage (F&B),” he added.

Shriram PM Monga, a principal consultant of retail consultancy firm SRED, said multiplexes in metro cities are scheduled for approximately 1,300 to 1,400 shows per day and malls – where most of the multiplexes are housed – could see their footfall soaring and cash registers ringing at retailers and restaurants.

“Pathaan is the most anticipated big budget release in quite a while, which is expected to cross Rs 650 crore in revenues, showing positive signs for the audience to get back to the multiplexes,” Monga said. “Also, pre-booking trends are showing an unprecedented buzz. So due to all these factors, malls are expecting a 25-30% rise in footfall. Also, with the end-of-season sales still on, these trends may translate to impulse shopping,” he added.

When a big banner film like Pathaan hits the screens, one can expect a major but temporary jump in footfall, analysts said. However, retailers would take whatever mileage they get in terms of sales they can generate from the surging footfall, especially at a time when fashion brands are already saddled with unsold inventories amid the prevailing low consumer sentiment. Also, the late arrival of winter in the north of India added to fashion brands’ woes as they are left with loads of unsold winter clothing.

Shah Rukh Khan drives footfall to malls with his movie Pathaan
Source: Pacific mall’s website

 Pathaan vs Republic Day

Pathaan release also coincides with India’s Republic Day celebrations on January 26, when all brands from fashion to grocery offer discounts.
Jayen Naik, COO of Nexus Malls, which operates 17 malls across 13 cities, said that all Nexus malls generally offer up to 60% discounts during the Republic Day celebrations.

“Around the Republic Day, we typically see a spike in sales as well as footfall, irrespective of the movies which are releasing,” he said.

This time, the Republic Day sales are clashing with the release of Pathaan, making it an even better long weekend for retailers.

“Historically, we have always bettered our previous financial year’s performance. This year as well, we are expecting similar performance across our portfolio of malls,” he further added.

Naik said all retail brands in Nexus malls have stocked up and are ready for the last four days of the end-of-the-sake (EOSS), starting January 26 to 29.

As the Republic Day sale and the launch of the movie are clashing, some malls expect to make more sales than usual while some say it wouldn’t make much difference. “The arrival of Pathaan feels like the build-up to a festival for brands. Stores are trying their best to cash in on the last leg of end-of-season sales and this is despite deep discounts being offered by online players too,” added Monga.

Shah Rukh Khan drives footfall to malls with his movie Pathaan
Source: Wikimedia commons

OTT or theatre?

Over the years, a large segment of the population either stopped or limited in-person impulsive shopping and coming to theatres to watch movies. However, with the launch of this film, malls are expecting people to be lured back to the big screen.

Taran Adarsh, film critic, and film Business analyst at tweeted that multiplexes increased the screen count just after the first show of the film. About 300 screens have been increased. This takes the total screen count to 8,000, out of which 5,500 screens are in India and the balance 2,500 are overseas.

“This in turn may boost sales that may last for a short period as moviegoers tend to set aside a day to catch the film and are usually in no hurry and end up shopping at leisure. So yes, Pathaan, may or may not get the cash registers ringing but the market is definitely buzzing with activity that looks to translate to good sales,” said Monga of SRED.

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