Midnight Summers at Quest More Than Just a Sale, It’s a Unique Consumer Experience’
After the roaring success of MSQ – the midnight sale is a complete shopping frenzy with exciting offers and discounts of up to 50 percent across all brands and festive activities like fireworks display – the mall has decided to make it a yearly event…
At Kolkata’s Quest Mall, the best deal of the day started at midnight this summer! Yes, you heard that right. The mall held its flagship event, Midnight Summers at Quest (MSQ), at the summer solstice, June 17, 2018.
After the roaring success of MSQ – the midnight sale is a complete shopping frenzy with exciting offers and discounts of up to 50 percent across all brands and festive activities like ͤreworks display– the mall has decided to make it a yearly event.
In an exclusive interview with Shopping Centre Forum, Sanjeev Mehra, Vice President, Quest Mall, talks about what makes MSQ a success, comparable to other popular offline formats like Black Friday sales and Boxing Day sales. Every shopping centre today is known for conducting seasonal promotions. In such a scenario what is unique about MSQ? Do you hold thus event to exclusively offer unusual experiences or is it an attempt to clear excess inventories? MSQ is sought after because it’s more than just a shopping festival. It’s an experience. The sale is accompanied by attractive activities, live contests and a superb ͤreworks display. This year, we had activities like countdown timers, 15 x 15 foot sky balloons and a DJ who played EDM music to add to the revelry.
The unique selling point of MSQ is that the entire mall is on sale, it’s night out for the patrons with amazing deals, and is the precursor to the ofͤcial summer EOSS across all brands in our mall. Why do you need an annual activity like MSQ? India, as a country, has only two types of seasons – summer and winter. We like to keep one interesting sale activity for both
seasons – MSQ for the summer and our Republic Day Sale during the winter.
We do other promotional activities like mall décor and interactive promotional events, but we avoid doing collective sales for more than two times in ayear because we feel more than this usually results in the dilution of the brand. What was USP of recently concluded midnight sale? What categories were on discount and which brands offered maximum and minimum discounts? All our brands and categories were discounted during the sale. The categories with the maximum discount included iPhones, luxury items, and fashion apparels & accessories The categories with minimum discount were electronics, ethnic wear, jewellery and watch brands What special arrangements were made to manage the incremental footfalls during MSQ 2018? Marketing wise, we have come up with a 360 degree strategy to reach out to the customer in every way possible. This strategy included print ads, hoardings and innovative digital marketing ideas like carousal ads.
Operation-wise, we have made special arrangements with the police to maintain law and order in and around the mall. We also had an arrangement with the trafͤc police to chalk out a trafͤc flow plan around the mall and identiͤed 30 parking zones for chauffer driven cars to ensure regular trafͤc in and around the mall was not disrupted.
We also tied up with West Bengal Fire and Emergency Services for any emergency situations that might occur, Woodlands Hospitals for ambulatory services as well as Uber which provided special deals to consumers. There was an Uber kiosk in the mall to provide shoppers with assistance in booking cabs. Tell us about your arrangements with retailers during MSQ 2018 to create a proͤtable situation for both the mall and brands? We don’t have a set revenue sharing system with retailers. However, we do coordinate well in time so that all brands and retailers can make the necessary arrangements for MSQ in a timely manner. As per new policies, retail establishments are allowed to operate 24X7. Do you think such policies will further boost the response for future MSQs? MSQ is a one off event, while retail policies are made as per demand and supply. However, there is a cost attached to establishments which are designed to work 24X7. Therefore, in my opinion, letting retail establishments remain open 24X7 is not a viable solution. This time frame should be restricted to events like MSQ, or at best to the hospitality industry. What is the revenue that mall has earned from MSQ 2018? This year, we have earned a neat `8.65 crore. What have you changed in as far as MSQ is concerned from inception to 2018? The ͤrst year of MSQ (2015) was more of a marketing effort and we needed to do a lot to convince retailers to be a part it. The results were mind boggling. We recorded footfalls of around 90,000 in three hours and an inflow of over 5,000 cars, which was 10 times the average footfalls then for three hours at any point of time at Quest Mall.The mall did a business of `3 crore (in three hours) and a Facebook post reach of around 1 lakh in three days (June 17 – June 19, 2015).
The top 10 brands (sales-wise) averaged more than `10 lakh in sale and the million rupee busters were Michael Kors, Vero Moda, DKNY, ONLY, Forever New last year.
While the concept has remained by and large the same, by the next year – since we understood that the beast was only going to get bigger with each year – our concentration moved completely to operational aspects; and therefore, for the later versions we were able to successfully manage footfalls of 2,15,000; 2,60,000 and 2,90,000 in the MSQ 2016, 2017 and 2018. What is the target for MSQ’s 2019 edition? We hope to break this year’s records and their retailers are going to that extra mile to make sure that happens.We are aiming to touch the `10 crore mark at MSQ 2019.