Malls Of­fer An Experiential El­e­ment To Re­tail Which Is Hard To Repli­cate On­line

Shopping Center News - - CONTENTS - By Shubhra Saini

Der­ick Michael, COO, Amanora Mall, talks about the Re­tail realty sce­nario of Pune.

Der­ick Michael, COO, Amanora Mall,

talks about the Re­tail realty sce­nario of Pune and the stake Amanora has in mak­ing it come of the age. Spread across 1.2 mil­lion sq. feet, Amanora to­day is a full day des­ti­na­tion for shop­ping, food, and en­ter­tain­ment, which hold around 175 brands un­der one roof.

Amanora Mall is a part of 450-acre spe­cial town­ship which started in the year 18th Aug’11. The town­ship con­sists of 12,000 apart­ments, two schools, one sta­dium and a shop­ping cen­tre sit­u­ated in the eastern sub­urb of Pune which is the IT and res­i­den­tial hub. Back in 2010, Eastern Pune – spurred by the IT and call cen­tre busi­nesses – had no or­ga­nized re­tail but at the same time was pop­u­lated with a cos­mopoli­tan crowd who had to travel a mile to shop and eat. All these ar­eas are rapidly de­vel­op­ing and de­mand­ing commercials and en­ter­tain­ment ac­tiv­i­ties.

With just ba­sic high street re­tail scat­tered around the eastern belt the need to have an or­ga­nized re­tail en­vi­ron­ment was es­sen­tial which later gave birth to Amanora mall. Amanora mall with its unique ar­chi­tec­tural fea­tures em­pha­sis­ing on more in­door and out­door re­tail space was de­signed by New Zealand based ar­chi­tec­tural com­pany WALK­ERS.

How has the re­tail real es­tate mar­ket com­ing up Pune over the last few years, ac­cord­ing to you?

Pune has been a very bullish mar­ket with re­tail grow­ing at a fast phase. It is an at­trac­tive cor­po­rate lo­ca­tion due to the pres­ence of qual­ity tal­ent pool, education base, avail­abil­ity of qual­ity real es­tate and eco­nomic cost of liv­ing. Pune’s eco­nomic growth is pre­dom­i­nantly driven by IT/ ITe S in­dus­try. With IT and BPO mar­kets see­ing a tremen­dous growth, the re­tail mar­ket has coped up pretty well with es­tab­lished pan In­dia and in­ter­na­tional re­tailer brands hav­ing set their foot­print firmly in the city. More and more malls have mush­roomed within a span of five years in a 5 mil­lion pop­u­lated city.

What is the to­tal built-up area and gross leasable area of the mall? What is the oc­cu­pancy rate of the mall?

Our built-up area is 1.2 mil­lion sq.ft. of the mall with a 10.65 lakh sq.ft. of gross leasable area. The oc­cu­pancy of the mall is 80 per­cent so far.

Tell us about the lo­ca­tion of the mall and your core catch­ment?

Amanora Mall is sit­u­ated in the eastern sub­urbs of Pune which is a ma­jor IT and res­i­den­tial hub. The mall is 14 km away from Pune rail­way sta­tion and 8 km from the air­port. Amanora Town­ship is 465 acres with over 10,000 res­i­dents oc­cu­py­ing about 4,000 flats at this month. There are an­other

2,500 flats be­ing handed over the next 6 months and the to­tal num­ber is aimed at 10-12,000 flats over a pe­riod of five years.

The im­me­di­ate catch­ment has hous­ing so­ci­eties by very prom­i­nent builders of Pune with apart­ment costs rang­ing up­wards of Rs.60-70 Lac and go­ing up to Cr’s. Ma­garpatta City which is right op­po­site Amanora is a 430 acres town­ship, it houses 40,000 res­i­dents and also hosts 60,000 pro­fes­sion­als who work at the Ma­garpatta Cy­ber city IT Park within the Ma­garpatta com­plex. (Exl Ser­vices, Am­docs, Cog­nizant Tech­nol­ogy So­lu­tions (CTS), John Deere, SAP, Ac­cen­ture, AVAYA, Inau­tix, Crest, Mar­ket­sandMar­kets, Ter­a­data, Re­flexis, ZS As­so­ciates, Prin­ci­pal Fi­nan­cial Group, Red Hat, Xento, Bent­ley & more)

What is the USP and dif­fer­en­ti­at­ing fac­tor of Amanora mall?

The ar­chi­tec­tural de­sign is the USP of the mall with its in­door and out­door shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence. The mas­sive mu­si­cal foun­tain syn­chro­nized with sound and lights is one of its kind in­side any shop­ping cen­tre mak­ing it a place for peo­ple to gather dur­ing evenings to wit­ness the foun­tain and many other mu­si­cal events.

What’s the re­tail mix of Amanora mall like?

Fash­ion, en­ter­tain­ment and food con­sti­tute the ma­jor re­tail mix. The mall houses some of the best in­ter­na­tional brands such as H&M, De­cathlon, Vero Moda, Jack & Jones, ONLY, and Har­ley David­son to name a few. There is 3 lakh sq.ft. of com­mer­cial of­fices above the mall.

Who are the an­chors and mini­an­chors in your mall? Who are the key vanilla re­tail­ers?

Our an­chor stores are: Cen­tral, Inox, and Big Bazaar. Our mini an­chors are: H&M, Marks & Spencer, De­cathlon, Crossword, Re­liance Dig­i­tal, Re­liance Trends and the food court.The key vanilla stores in the mall are: Vero Moda, Only, Jack & Jones, UCB, The Body Shop, Har­ley David­son, Hidesign, RTW, Sun­glass Hut, Allen Solly, Van Heusen, Louis Phillipe, Puma, Nike, and Skech­ers to name a few.

Are there any in­ter­est­ing new or up­com­ing re­tail ten­ants?

We are rop­ing in some very in­ter­est­ing fash­ion brands, but it’s a bit too early to an­nounce the names.

What kind of rev­enue model do you share with your ten­ants?

We work on MG or fixed rent and also a com­bi­na­tion of rev­enue share and MG.

What kind of a setup do you have for re­gional or lo­cal re­tail­ers? As a mall de­vel­oper, how do you pro­pose to pro­mote these in­dige­nous brands?

Pune has a very strong base on lo­cal brands just like any other city. De­pend­ing on the brand and cat­e­gory they are po­si­tioned ac­cord­ingly. We do sup­port them ini­tially with brand­ings space within the mall but this is strictly for a spe­cific pe­riod.

What mar­ket­ing/pro­mo­tional ini­tia­tives have you taken up re­cently? How do they help the mall and its re­tail ten­ants?

We re­cently launched our food court which is around 25,000 sq.ft., which holds around 12 food op­er­a­tors. To pro­mote the food court, we re­cently cre­ated a prop­erty called ‘The Great Puner­iee Cook off Sea­son 1’. This was a cook­ing com­ple­tion held at the mall food court for the pub­lic. Celebrity Chef Sahilen­der Kakade was the judge for the event. We re­ceived a great re­sponse from the con­sumers as well as from our food court op­er­a­tors.

While re­tail­ers con­tinue to in­vest in e-com­merce, they still un­der­stand the value of phys­i­cal stores and that bridg­ing the in-store and on­line ex­pe­ri­ence is a se­ri­ous driver of busi­ness. Do you think shop­ping cen­tres can bridge this di­vide with Om­nichan­nel strate­gies?

Shop­ping cen­tres are un­der­go­ing a ma­jor evo­lu­tion at the mo­ment. Yes, e-com­merce of­fers a sense of ease when it comes to shop­ping. How­ever, malls of­fer an experiential el­e­ment to re­tail which is hard to repli­cate in the dig­i­tal world. There is such a mas­sive amount of con­tent dumped on the cus­tomers with on­line of­fers, dis­counts, fes­tive sales that the cus­tomer ends up spend­ing a con­sid­er­able time just sift­ing through the in­for­ma­tion in search of the de­sired prod­uct. You may have no­ticed sev­eral prom­i­nent e-com­merce brands mov­ing to a re­tail place to de­velop a phys­i­cal con­nect with the cus­tomer, some­thing which will never lose its im­por­tance. Om­nichan­nel strate­gies are there­fore of ex­treme im­por­tance and over time, both (re­tail & e-tail) will learn to co-ex­ist as they are de­pen­dent on each other.

What are your Om­nichan­nel strate­gies?

We are set­ting out on a dig­i­tal trans­for­ma­tion pro­gram, where we want to in­cen­tivise our loyal cus­tomers with ben­e­fits (of­fers, deals) of avail­able brands within the mall. We have re­cently launched our Loy­alty Pro­gram which comes with an app, mi­crosite and the works which sim­ply re­wards peo­ple for shop­ping with us.

Over time, we will ex­pand the scope to in­clude prod­uct reser­va­tions, brows­ing of prod­uct cat­a­logues and of­fer­ing in­ter­est/ pre­vi­ous shop­ping his­tory based deals or dis­counts. There is a mas­sive amount of work that needs to go in and this will be pos­si­ble hand in hand with our re­tail part­ners.

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