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Oberoi Realty to Come up with Integrated Retail Infrastructure in Mumbai in 2023, says Sameep Pathak of Oberoi Realty

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Sandeep Kumar
Sandeep Kumar
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.

The second retail asset from the brand at Borivali East on the Western Express Highway will consist of residential towers, a 5-star hotel and a million sq. ft mall

Going forward, where do you see the Indian retail industry in the coming year?

As 2023 approaches, we remain optimistic that consumer demand in India will stay strong. 2022 saw the retail industry return with sales exceeding pre-pandemic levels. The Indian retail sector has emerged as one of the most dynamic and fast-paced in the country today.

2022 has been one of the most transformative years for the retail industry. 2023 will continue to see an improved trend amongst retail players with focus on revamped stores, retail strategies, efficient utilization of spaces, customisation and absolute customer-focused approach which will further enhance customer experience.

With approximately 25% growth in sales across categories, retailers are now looking for quality and quantity real estate and adding more subcategories in their existing portfolio.

What factors do you think will be the game changers for the industry in the coming years?

The ecosystem of the retail industry is evolving at a fast pace and a few factors could lead to significant changes in the coming years like:

Experiential shopping like customization, flexibility on timelines for the exchange of products leading to a customer experiencing the product for a longer duration, enhancing the F&B offerings at the mall with sprinkled cafes across floors that can also be seen as co-working spaces. Creating more social spaces such as hangout zones, stroll zones, pet stroll zones and so on.

Dispensing basic services from the concierge desk of the mall like electric wheelchairs for elderly/specially abled customers, baby prams, porter service, doctor on call, mechanic on call, gift wrapping, over-the-counter reading glasses, baggage counter and likes.

Neighbourhood integration with the mall and its offerings will also be a strong game changer for the industry. Shopping malls especially near metro stations will be enablers for issues such as connectivity in terms of parking solutions, traffic and travel time.

All the above gives a sense of belongingness and retail destinations become like a “Muscle Memory” for each of the customers.

Share the vision for the mall in the coming year, elaborating on the brand growth and ambitions related to this?

The key focus for us at Oberoi mall is to enhance our tenant portfolio in terms of hosting new brands which have emerged and are fast getting popular among buyers. We are looking at providing a fresh look and augmenting our retail partners in FnB, Family Entertainment Centre, and the fast fashion segment. This shall help us give a fresh and new appearance to the existing look and feel of the mall. We want to ensure that the occupancy of the mall is maintained, while we continuously thrive at adding novelty to the existing offerings.

As far as the upcoming year is concerned, we expect a positive growth. Also, categories such as home décor, eyewear, footwear, and menswear have shown enormous growth. We are optimistic about the growth trend in the coming year. The response from our customers has really given us a further boost to add new retail space in our current Oberoi Mall, Goregaon and we are in the planning stages of adding close to about 25,000 to 30,000 square feet of additional space to add close to about 20-22 new retail outlets to the current brand mix.

Are there any expansion plans or new development phases lined up for the mall?

Yes, Mumbai will be presented with a million sq. ft mall before the end of the year. This is an integrated development coming up at Borivali East on the Western Express Highway and consists of residential towers, a 5-star hotel and a million sq. ft mall.

This will be our second retail asset from Oberoi Realty after Oberoi Mall at Goregaon. The mall will have some unique offerings like direct metro connectivity, seamless accessibility from the residential tower and hotel, a breathtaking view of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park from the hand-picked F & B restaurants on the rooftop and much more.

Three consumer experiences that you want to introduce in the coming years?

We always thrive to give our customers much more than just shopping. A mall is the only space which caters to all age groups and keeping this in mind, we have recently introduced two much-appreciated IPs – Kidzbotics for the kids and The Fun Bunch for senior citizens.

Other experiences which we are working on are integrating our Oberoi Garden City which comprises of International Business Park (Commerz I, II as well as III under construction) with Oberoi mall, with Oberoi mall- being a strong answer to all their F&B requirements to start with, followed by bringing other mall offerings to their doorsteps.

As mentioned earlier, offering parking for office goers as a part of the last-minute connectivity and encourage to use public transport. And further continue to dispense more customer-friendly services through our mall concierge desk adding to customer delight.

Three wishlist for your mall in the coming year?

Our Mantra for the coming year is to “stay customer focussed” and continuously meet the ever-evolving wish list through understanding of our customer requirements.

New stores in the pipeline in the coming months?

Consumers today are evolving, and their preferences are constantly changing. Hence, we at Oberoi Mall consciously churn the brands to cater to across age groups and reach a wider customer base. Recently, we have expanded our lifestyle portfolio brand offerings by adding new brands like Forevermark, Bluestone, GKB Opticals, The Souled Store, at the same time we have also upgraded our existing stores like Levis, Hidesign, Van Heusen and a few more for the enhanced shopping experience.

In the beauty space, we launched SS beauty by Shoppers Stop and we are looking forward to adding more than 20 to 25 global and national brands to our current brand mix at Oberoi Mall, Goregaon.

To be specific, what do you think has been the winning formula for your shopping mall?

Be it providing the experience or value for the time and money they spend at the mall, our formula for success lies in being relevant to our customers. Whether it is our services, the warmth, festivities, décor, relevant brand mix, timely renovations, churns and much more. Staying relevant with time and an agile approach has helped us keep the pace and stay in demand.

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