The brand will be adding popular international fast fashion brands to the portfolio, also the focus will be on adding and refreshing F&B offerings with well-known brands in the industry
New Delhi-based Pacific Malls which operates 6 malls in North India will be launching 3 malls (1.3 million sq. ft. of retail space) in 2023, according to Abhishek Bansal, the Executive Director of Pacific India. The mall developer will also be adding popular international fast fashion brands to its portfolio, also the focus will be on adding and refreshing F&B offerings with well-known brands in the industry, added Bansal in an exclusive interview with Images Group.
Going forward, where do you see the Indian real estate industry in the coming year?
With growth expected in both the commercial and residential segments, the outlook for the real estate sector appears positive in 2023. Segments like office, residential and warehousing are expected to continue their upward trajectory in 2023, as per a report from real estate services firm JLL. According to another study by CRISIL, office leasing is expected to grow 10-15% per cent in the next financial year.
Housing demand in 2023 will be driven by a growing requirement for spacious homes offering practical amenities designed to accommodate the post-pandemic lifestyle. With several corporates reverting to work from office business models, commercial real estate is also tipped for growth in the next financial year.
As far as shopping malls are concerned, the fundamentals are solid. There are few players, and the supply of Grade A malls is limited. With businesses in malls now overtaking the pre-pandemic levels, operators have already started renegotiating rents and higher revenue share from retailers and brands. With a shortage of quality space and a positive business outlook, retailers are not averse to paying more.
Mall owners opting to give smaller lease tenures is another emerging trend. It allows us to change the tenant mix faster and remain relevant in the fast-changing environment.
What factors do you think will be the game changers for the industry in the coming years?
In the coming years, malls designed with Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) objectives like sustainability and conservation will be the game changers. In a nutshell, malls that have invested in infrastructure to conserve energy, reduce waste, save water, reduce carbon emissions etc., will be better placed to handle sustainability and ethical business practice goals. Conversation and sustainability initiatives also are for cost-optimisation and improves operational bottom line.
Further, the use of renewable energy such as solar energy, effluent treatment plants for recycling water and IBMS to monitor and optimise energy utilisation are measures that malls can adopt as part of their green initiatives. I would also like to add that Pacific Mall Tagore Garden is a LEED Platinum Certified Green Building.
Share the vision for the malls in the coming year, elaborating on the brand growth and ambitions related to this. Are there any expansion plans or new development phases lined up for the mall?
Pacific Malls at the corporate level will be adding 3 more malls with a total development of 13 lakh square feet in 2023. In February, Jasola Mall will be operational followed by Dehradun and Faridabad malls in this year.
At Pacific Tagore Garden, we will add popular international fast fashion and bridge to luxury brands. The idea is to position the mall as offering both premium and bridge to luxury categories. Our focus is also on adding and refreshing F&B offerings with well-known brands in the industry.
Three tech implements which you want to introduce in your mall in the coming year? And why so?
Today tech is the biggest differentiator at Pacific, and we have always taken a tech-first approach to serve our customers. Our three major tech initiatives are:
Synergy Tenant App: The idea is to service tenant partners for all their requirements in one place. The best part of the platform is that it connects all the stakeholders enabling quick response to tenant requirements, unlike other modes of communication like email or telephone.
Space As Service: Going ahead, we are working to have all our retail inventory uploaded in our Synergy Mall App so that prospective tenants can access and evaluate the options directly without third-party involvement. To begin with, we want to do this with our kiosks or temp stores inventory, for which leases are short-term.
Mall Loyalty Program: ‘MyPacificRewards’ Mall Loyalty Program, is designed to give deep insights into our customers’ visits and shopping behaviour. Our program’s uniqueness is the ability it offers to communicate and service customers as per their service and product requirements instead of trying and hard-sell something they don’t want. Our focus is on improving experiences in the mall along with gratification based on their shopping. For example, our top tier Influencer Customers get Free VVIP invites to Experiential Events, Free Valet Parking, 10% of shopping value in Vouchers from the best of F&B and Retail Brands etc.
Three consumer experiences which you want to introduce in the coming years?
At Pacific, we are committed to improving our customers’ experiences and making them visit us again and again. In this regard, some of the initiatives we are taking include the following:
- Medium to large live events will be one of our core differentiators to improve customer experience at our malls.
- Implement MyPacificRewards (Loyalty Program) for deeper consumer connect and understanding.
- To offer more F&B and entertainment options for consumers.
Three Wishlists for your mall in the coming year?
In fact, we have many; however, three considerations foremost on our agenda include:
- Target Centre Consumption of 1,400 Crores with Tenant Engagement and Synergy Support.
- Deeper Consumer Connect with MyPacificRewards, undertaking a data-driven approach to fulfil customers’ requirements as per their expectations.
- Upgrade the mall environment from convenience to experience.
New stores in the pipeline in the coming months?
New stores in the pipeline or under the discussion stage would include adding brands like Uniqlo, H&M, Bath & Body Works, Collective, Charles & Keith, Rare Rabbit, Longines, and McDonald’s.
This article first appeared in Shopping Centre News January 2023 issue.