Es­planade One, Aims to Revo­lu­tionise Odisha’s Mall Cul­ture

With the govern­ment’s thrust on mak­ing Odisha a hub for re­tail, fash­ion and en­ter­tain­ment, cities like Bhubaneswar are set to wit­ness a huge in­flux of malls for Mil­len­ni­als, with Es­planade One lead­ing the way...

Images Retail - - CENTERSTAGE - – By San­deep Ku­mar

Es­planade One, owned by Nexus Malls, which be­came op­er­a­tional in July 2018 is all set to be­come the big­gest mall of the Bhubaneswar re­gion. The site is well con­nected by dif­fer­ent modes of trans­porta­tion and is in close prox­im­ity of var­i­ous civic util­i­ties. Es­planade One is pre­cisely de­signed and has the com­pos­ite brand mix en­com­pass­ing all facets of shop­ping, en­ter­tain­ment and food un­der one roof which will revo­lu­tionise re­tail of Odisha as a whole. Spread over 4.5 lakhs of re­tail space, Es­planade One Mall will house over 100 top na­tional and in­ter­na­tional brands and a state of the art mul­ti­plex.

In an exclusive in­ter­view, Jayen Naik, Senior Vice Pres­i­dent, Op­er­a­tions and Projects, Nexus Malls, re­veals all there is to know about Es­planade One.

Lo­ca­tion Strat­egy: Why Bhubaneswar?

“Nexus Malls bought Es­planade One from the Fo­rum Group in early 2018. Be­fore mak­ing the ac­qui­si­tion in Bhubaneswar, we did a lot of re­search work. The out­come of re­search was very over­whelm­ing. We came to know that the as­pi­ra­tions and de­sires of the peo­ple of Odisha have been evolv­ing at rapid pace in the last five years or so. With the govern­ment’s thrust on mak­ing Odisha, a hub for ed­u­ca­tion and skill de­vel­op­ment of youth, the cities like Bhubaneswar are see­ing a huge in­flux of youth com­ing for ed­u­ca­tion and train­ing. Cou­pled with the in­vest­ment by the IT sec­tor, Bhubaneswar is fast be­com­ing a city of op­por­tu­ni­ties. This ob­vi­ously has led to in­creased aware­ness and de­mand for in­ter­na­tional brands, novel ways of en­ter­tain­ment and de­sire to try out new cuisines and food op­tions.

Lo­ca­tion plays a very im­por­tant role in de­ter­min­ing the suc­cess of the mall. Es­planade One is lo­cated in Ra­sul­garh, near the Cut­tack­puri High­way and is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble for peo­ple from all the nearby cities. It is also very close to Jan­path, a prom­i­nent area in Bhubaneswar.

Mar­ket­ing Strat­egy:

In my opin­ion, the suc­cess of an as­set hugely de­pends on two things

Re­tail­ers’ sat­is­fac­tion Cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion

Both of them play a very crit­i­cal role in de­ter­min­ing what that as­set would mean to not just the im­me­di­ate catch­ment, but for the city in gen­eral. Be­sides shop­ping, cus­tomers al­ways look for a new rea­son to spend time at any given place. As malls, the onus is on us to give them that rea­son to come to us, spend more time and be­come the destination of choice for them when they are plan­ning how to spend their leisure time.

The more time that they spend at the mall, the more likely they are to spend at the as­set.

For the re­tail­ers on the other hand, it is im­por­tant that they keep get­ting foot­falls and re­peat cus­tomers to the mall. When the event and ac­tiv­i­ties are planned at the mall, the own­ers need to en­sure that re­tail­ers are roped in as ac­tive part­ners.

What makes Nexus Spe­cial: USP

Over the last 18 months at Nexus Malls, we have upped our game in terms of the ex­pe­ri­ence that we want to de­liver to our pa­trons. We have con­cep­tu­alised and ex­e­cuted sev­eral dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions at the mall and those were very well re­ceived

by re­tail­ers and shop­pers alike. We were the first mall com­pany In­dia, to host a full scale Augmented Re­al­ity show across a few of the malls in our port­fo­lio. The first day of the ac­tiv­ity saw an or­ganic reach of over a mil­lion on our Face­book fan page. We saw a surge in foot­falls dur­ing that week and our so­cial me­dia pages were full of re­ac­tions and com­ments.

We fol­lowed it up with a Dig­i­tal Pic­tionary, which we ex­e­cuted in as­so­ci­a­tion with Mat­tel. This was a spe­cial ex­pe­ri­en­tial event cu­rated for the Chil­dren’s Day week­end. All of us grew up play­ing Pic­tionary, this one, was with a Dig­i­tal twist. Here, a mime artist played the game with kids who vis­ited the mall vir­tu­ally, through a LED screen and grat­i­fied over 300 kids who par­tic­i­pated over the two days re­sult­ing in pro­vid­ing an­other unique ex­pe­ri­ence, which be­came very pop­u­lar and caught the at­ten­tion of our pa­trons. We at Nexus give im­por­tance to the con­sumer ex­pe­ri­ence and to make it bet­ter, we keep our­selves up­dated with the tech­nol­ogy to ful­fil the de­mands.

We at Nexus have al­ways be­lieved in pro­vid­ing the aware cus­tomer of to­day with the lat­est of­fer­ings in Shop­ping, en­ter­tain­ment and food, whilst main­tain­ing World class bench­marks in Safety, Se­cu­rity, Hy­giene and Com­fort (even park­ing com­fort), cou­pled with the In­dian warmth and cul­ture. This unique ex­pe­ri­ence is what we term as the “Nexus Ex­pe­ri­ence” and that we feel is our dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor,” ex­plained Nair.

Zon­ing of Brands

For­mu­lat­ing the right ten­ant mix based on zon­ing not only helps at­tract and re­tain shop­pers by of­fer­ing them mul­ti­ple choices and sat­is­fy­ing mul­ti­ple needs, but also fa­cil­i­tates the smooth move­ment of shop­pers within the mall, avoid­ing clus­ters and bot­tle­necks. This helps in­flu­ence shop­pers’ mall pref­er­ence and fre­quency of vis­its. It also helps in build­ing a dis­tinct im­age in the minds of shop­pers, which is ex­tremely crit­i­cal. “I think the be­lief in the brand phi­los­o­phy has to be strong. The propo­si­tion has to be un-de­bat­able. Be­ing lo­cated in a mall or on high streets is about in­di­vid­ual bud­getary choices. Both has its own set of pros and cons. But I strongly feel that brands do not get lost in the crowd in mall. Rather a strong back­end sup­port is re­quired and at Es­planade, our fo­cus is to be keep­ing the brands right on track,” said Nair.

At Es­planade One, ev­ery floor has a dis­tinct char­ac­ter. There is no dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion be­tween in­ter­na­tional or in­dige­nous brands. Each brand en­joys their share of lime­light. It is qual­ity that drives cus­tomer con­nect.

F&B and FEC

F&B and FEC are the two most im­por­tant pil­lars on the fu­ture of mall de­pend. As we all know, shop­ping alone could lead to the down­fall of an as­set. Malls are no longer just shop­ping des­ti­na­tions, but they are more of com­mu­nity cen­tres. The suc­cess of a mall hugely de­pends on how it caters to the peo­ple walk­ing in.

It is im­per­a­tive that malls now cater to all age groups and they de­liver a unique ex­pe­ri­ence each time that they visit. There­fore, a large num­ber of the foot­falls are fully de­pen­dent on these two seg­ments.

Odisha is just be­gin­ning to open it­self up to var­i­ous na­tional and in­ter­na­tional cuisines. Know­ing this fact, we have tried to put to­gether a good mix of na­tional and in­ter­na­tional food brands which can cater to the pal­ette of ev­ery­one who vis­its the mall. In fact, know­ing how rooted the Odiya peo­ple are to tra­di­tional food, we have reached out to some of the pop­u­lar brands here and they would also be at our food court.

Malls are a pri­mary source to not only ful­fill the above needs and wants of the new gen­er­a­tion but also acts as a com­mu­nity hub to bring to­gether all the peo­ple to cel­e­brate var­i­ous events and fes­ti­vals. Es­planade One, is pre­cisely de­signed and has the com­pos­ite brand mix en­com­pass­ing all facets of shop­ping, en­ter­tain­ment and food un­der one roof which will revo­lu­tionise re­tail of not just Bhubaneswar but Odisha as a whole.

Pop­u­lar­ity

Es­planade One al­ready has a packed ac­tiv­ity cal­en­dar, which is planned as per ne­ces­sity of the lo­cal mar­ket tar­get­ing to the needs of the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion. Based on the learn­ings from other malls in our port­fo­lio, we have a va­ri­ety of ac­tiv­i­ties and dig­i­tal in­no­va­tions which we are ca­pa­ble of ex­e­cut­ing at Es­planade One as well.

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