WHAT’S NEW UN­DER THE (SHOP­PING CEN­TRE) SUN?

Shopping Center News - - COVER STORY -

What are the trends in re­tail, how are they im­pact­ing and how will they im­pact the In­dian shop­ping cen­tre in­dus­try? How do lead­ers in the re­tail and shop­ping cen­tre en­vi­ron­ment en­sure suc­cess in the ever-chang­ing world? Emi­nent pan­elists at In­dia Shop­ping Cen­tre Fo­rum 2017 talked about the trends and spot­lights of the fu­ture of shop­ping cen­tres in an en­rich­ing ses­sion.

The ses­sion was mod­er­ated by Vishal Mir­chan­dani, CEO – Re­tail and Com­mer­cial, Bri­gade En­ter­prises. The pan­elists in­cluded B V Bharad­waja, Coun­try Head, Cap­i­taLand; Benu Sehgal, Head - Re­tail and Mar­ket­ing, Am­bi­ence Mall; Di­naz Mad­hukar, Se­nior VP, DLF Lux­ury Re­tail & Hos­pi­tal­ity (DLF Em­po­rio); Manoj Agar­wal, Head Op­er­a­tions, L&T Metro Rail (Hy­der­abad); Nimish Son­awala, MD, Ski­data; Nirzar Jain, SVP - Op­er­a­tions, Nexus Malls; Shabnam Sing­hal, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, SIR­IUS D&E; Shirish Desh­pande, Pres­i­dent, In­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Amuse­ment Parks and In­dus­tries (IAAPI) and CEO, Pan In­dia Pary­atan (Es­sel World & Wa­ter King­dom); and Su­nil Shroff, CEO – Malls, Vi­viana Mall (Sheth De­vel­op­ers).

Vishal Mir­chan­dani com­menced the ses­sion by talk­ing about the def­i­ni­tion of a ‘shop­per’. “Who is a shop­per? How has the shop­per evolved and how has his evo­lu­tion given new­ness to the shop­ping cen­tres?” he asked.

Ad­dress­ing his ques­tion, Nirzar Jain, said, “Shop­ping is an es­sen­tial need but each shop­per is dif­fer­ent and his needs are unique. Shop­pers are chang­ing, as is their ex­po­sure to­wards shop­ping and the way they shop. So, how we eval­u­ate them will help us evolve our busi­nesses in a bet­ter way.”

Talk­ing from the per­spec­tive of a lux­ury mall, Di­naz Mad­hukar, said, “Cus­tomers are be­com­ing as­pi­ra­tional and that is why there is a huge po­ten­tial in bridge-to-lux­ury re­tail­ing – pre­cisely the rea­son why so many bridge-to-lux­ury brands like Michael Kors, Kate Spade etcetera are en­ter­ing In­dia. And for me, any­one who has money and is ready to spend is my cus­tomer.”

Tak­ing the dis­cus­sion fur­ther, Benu Sehgal, ex­plained, “Peo­ple want in­for­ma­tion be­fore they even start shop­ping. As a de­vel­oper, it’s my duty to give in­for­ma­tion to po­ten­tial cus­tomers, so they come to the mall with sorted ideas in their minds. We need to give them in­for­ma­tion on park­ing, ac­tiv­i­ties, movie ticket book­ings and more, so that when they en­ter a mall, they know ex­actly how they will like to spend their time there. This also helps mall stake­hold­ers in get­ting the right foot­falls.”

The pan­elists all feel that when con­sumers visit malls, they are look­ing for ex­pe­ri­ences that go well be­yond tra­di­tional shop­ping. Chang­ing de­mo­graph­ics, grow­ing pop­u­la­tion with more disposable income, and in­creased ur­ban­iza­tion are adding to this need. Peo­ple are con­sis­tently look­ing for spa­ces in which to so­cial­ize and en­ter­tain them­selves and their fam­i­lies.

Shabnam Sing­hal said, “When com­ing to a mall peo­ple are look­ing at some­thing fresh all the time. They want in­no­va­tion and that is what in­vig­o­rates them to spend more time in a mall, which fur­ther re­sults in pur­chases and spend­ing at a mall. In case of In­dia, we need to have malls for each pur­pose, like a neigh­bour­hood mall, lux­ury mall, a spe­cialty mall and so on. What mall man­age­ment needs to un­der­stand is why a con­sumer is com­ing to a mall and the mall should be in a po­si­tion to of­fer them ex­actly what they are look­ing at.”

Mir­chan­dani con­cluded the ses­sion say­ing, “Fif­teen to 20 years ago, 80 per­cent of the mall re­tail space used to be­long to ap­parel. How­ever, with chang­ing times and evo­lu­tion of con­sumers this per­cent­age has now been re­duced to 60-70 per­cent. The rest of the mall space has been taken up by food and en­ter­tain­ment. En­ter­tain­ment and leisure is an im­por­tant com­po­nent of new age malls and holds great po­ten­tial for shop­ping cen­tres.”

The e-com­merce rev­o­lu­tion has fun­da­men­tally re­shaped con­sumer ex­pec­ta­tions. Malls, in keep­ing with this change are shift­ing their func­tion to­ward use­ful and en­ter­tain­ing cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ences.

L to R: Vishal Mir­chan­dani, CEO – Re­tail and Com­mer­cial, Bri­gade En­ter­prises; Shirish Desh­pande, Pres­i­dent, In­dian As­so­ci­a­tion of Amuse­ment Parks and In­dus­tries (IAAPI) and CEO, Pan In­dia Pary­atan (Es­sel World & Wa­ter King­dom); Nimish Son­awala, MD, Ski­data; Manoj Agar­wal, Head Op­er­a­tions, L&T Metro Rail (Hy­der­abad); Di­naz Mad­hukar, Se­nior VP, DLF Lux­ury Re­tail & Hos­pi­tal­ity (DLF Em­po­rio); Benu Sehgal, Head - Re­tail and Mar­ket­ing, Am­bi­ence Mall; Su­nil Shroff, CEO – Malls, Vi­viana Mall (Sheth De­vel­op­ers); Nirzar Jain, SVP - Op­er­a­tions, Nexus Malls; Shabnam Sing­hal, Man­ag­ing Part­ner, SIR­IUS D&E; B.V. Bharad­waja, Coun­try Head, Cap­i­taLand

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