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