THE CHANGING RETAIL LANDSCAPE OF EAST INDIA
East India’s mall developers on the growing culture of shopping malls and luxury brand trends which are attracting consumers as well as foreign investors to the region…
Retail is rising in the East. What was unthinkable up until a decade ago has now become a reality. Today, customers belonging to a diverse milieu are making a beeline for malls – to look, touch, feel, buy, and revel in the experience of a community hub. The availability of high-end national and international products is making the lure of the mall all the more irresistible for the Eastern populace. The desire for shopping is not restricted only to the high and the elite group but has now finally trickled down to the aspiring middle class. The organised sector’s growth potential has increased due to changing lifestyles of consumers, high consumer spending capacity of the young population, and sharp rise in disposable incomes. Apart from metro cities there is a radical shift witnessed in consumption pattern in smaller towns with people moving beyond necessities and buying products tagged as lifestyle luxury item. The demand is shooting up as foreign brands are betting on India’s $600-billion retail market.
The Indian consumer market has seen a significant growth post-recession era and as a result, the entire country – including the East – is witnessing huge number of shopping malls and complexes coming up. The investors and developers are lining up, and a huge amount of foreign capital is flowing into the region, giving offline retailers a reason to come up with new stores and implement new technology. And malls are increasingly turning to the social media to step up their game. Although traditionalists may think the Internet is the worst enemy of the mall – a brick-and-mortar bastion – this could not be farther than the truth. Malls are taking the best of both worlds – offline and online and blending them into a winning proposition to enhance the consumer’s shopping experience.
Malls are using social media to engage visitors when they are not in the mall – offers, promotions, contests, polls, customised offers, gift ideas, targeted advertisements based on real time intelligence and location-based marketing and of course information, everything is available to consumers, drawing them to the mall, making them want to visit again. Malls are also increasingly turning Omnichannel, making use of the consumer’s smartphone to attract him/her in. In short, smart malls of the East are using digital technology to heighten their unique value propositions.
Despite the upswing in the mall scenario in the East, a lot still needs to be done to ensure that shopping centres prosper in the region. Good government policies, more innovation in terms of incorporating value-added elements, melding retail and entertainment in one giant community hub, and using the digital media to attract footfalls – all need to be worked upon.
More planning, better identification of needs, quality products at affordable prices, a perfect store mix – all these factors still need refinement to ensure the success of malls and the shopping centre industry in East India.
4. Arijit Chatterjee, COO, Junction Mall 4.
8. Sahil Saharia, CEO, Bengal Shristi Infrastructure Development Ltd. 8.
3. Priyank Singhania, Director, Avinash Developers Pvt Ltd. 3.
7. Bishnu Kumar Agarwal, Chairman and Managing Director, Adarsh Heights Private Ltd 7.
2. Sunil Agrawal, CEO, Prakash Jha Productions 2.
6. Shantanu Lahiri, Chief Advisor, JD Hi Street 6.
1. 1. Sanjeev Mehra, Vice President, Quest Properties India Ltd.
5. 5. Amit Tekriwal, Director, Amit Realty Private Ltd
9. 9. Pururaj Dutt, Vice President- Realty Division, Paharpur Cooling Towers Ltd.
IMAGES Retail Bureau spoke to major mall developers from the east to find out how the retail landscape of the region is changing, why the growing influence of digital media in retail is not all bad news for malls and how they are transforming the consumer’s experience by leveraging technology and multichannel strategies.