(Representative Image: AP/Manish Swarup)
It’s that time of year again. After spending months largely cooped up in their homes, people are ready for the festive season and all the joys it brings: twinkling lamps, gifts, laughter and soul food. And after being forced to lie dormant because of Covid, mall owners, too, are ready to spring into action.
In a sense, the emotions around this year’s festival season resonate with both common folk and mall owners, who have been sailing in the same boat because of the lockdown. While shoppers are looking to gingerly make their way back into malls, the retailers are putting their best foot forward to lure customers back in.
It helps that the government has allowed cinemas to open and restaurant dine-in services to resume. Mall owners are expecting footfalls to rise thanks to these relaxations.
Across India, malls are putting together an amalgamation of festive decorations and special shopping schemes with small scale events and exhibitions, while complying with government regulations.
Mall owners are of the view that that instant gratification works much better for buyers today. Customers do not have the time or patience to wait for the lucky draws and come back to claim their gifts. And so, offers with instant gifts have become the order of the day.
Nexus Malls, which has three malls — two in Pune and one in Navi Mumbai — has been planning a ‘Jitna Bag Utna Swag’ campaign, wherein customers get gifts based on the number of bags they carry out of the mall.
Bengaluru’s Phoenix Marketcity launched its Phoenix festival on October 1. It will run until December 31. During these three months customers will get a chance to win prizes worth Rs 1 crore.
Phoenix Marketcity–Bengaluru has also launched ‘Phoenix Nhance’, a mobile App. It provides instant rewards, helps shoppers browse store catalogues and offers, and even get video shopping assistance from the comfort of their homes. It allows users to pre-book visits to the mall, including selecting, booking and paying for parking. Shoppers can also earn points on every purchase by scanning their bills and redeeming those points to avail personalised discounts on the app.
Delhi’s Select CITYWALK shopping mall has joined hands with a host of new brands. It is also planning a slew of community activities within the mall and indulgent shopping options.
Select CITYWALK has many new marquee names opening, including Zara, which has relaunched with a bigger space, Molton Brown, Decathlon, Bugatti, EA7 from Emporio Armani, Bateel, Hamster London and Jom Jom Malay for Malaysian food.
It recently launched an ethnicwear collection with various partner stores to celebrate Diwali and selective shops will have sales and discounts too.
Festive collections can be chosen from brands such as L’affaire, Good earth, Fabindia, Amrapali, Needledust, Beau Monde and OutHouse, with a range of ethnic and traditional wear across apparel, footwear, and jewellery.
Forum Shantiniketan Mall in Bengaluru is also gearing up to welcome customers with appealing offers. The mall has come up with combo food and dining offers. For instance, it has the ‘world on a platter’ on the menu as part of its Forum Food Festival with fine dining partners.
Eyeing more footfalls
According to Yogeshwar Sharma, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of Select Citywalk, people have adjusted to the new normal and are more accustomed to a contactless lifestyle.
“Customers are evolving in purchase behaviour, and are looking at both online and offline services for shopping. It is currently too early to give figures for sales. However, given that the festive season is always about hope and renewal, we do foresee consumer sentiment increasing sales growth overall,” he added.
Speaking to Moneycontrol, Gajendra Singh Rathore, Senior Centre Director, Phoenix Marketcity, Bengaluru, said: “We have seen a good spend in October, and in November, too, we feel there will be good traction for festive-wear, electronics and Jewellery,”
Over the last 15 weeks, Nexus Mall has seen a consistent increase in footfalls. It has seen traction for fashion, electronics and jewellery brands. Now, with restrictions easing and with the festive season setting in, a lot of traditional attire and gifting items are also seeing robust demand.
Dalip Sahgal, CEO of Nexus Mall, is confident of recovering business from now until January. “In terms of expectations, we are very optimistic about sales and footfalls. With our retail partners also dishing out offers and deals for people who want to buy from our malls, sales are expected to grow further,” said Sahgal.