CHENNAI: Columns and stairways are decked up in bling and serial lights were wrapped around columns and stairways; colourful balloons are hung high; the atrium of Express Avenue, one of the busiest shopping malls in Chennai, has morphed itself into a mini ‘jingle’ forest with Christmas trees, mountains and brooks. A toy train is chugging around the forest.
Not just this mall, almost all Express Avenue but malls in the country generally do their best to lure in consumers during this season. Usually in India, after Diwali when there would be an influx of shoppers, there would be is a lull. In order to boost consumer sentiment and encourage shopping during Christmas and New Year, mall owners are spending huge amount of money to pretty up the property, extend shopping hours, offer gifts and host events such as musical evenings and fashion shows.
Anand Sundaram, CEO of a property management major Pioneer Property Zone, says these things really help attract visitorsgetting greater footfalls. His company manages malls in NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Dehradun and Amritsar. “We in tie-up with our retailers, host several events and offer gifts to encourage shopping during the season, which will ensure at least 10-15 per cent growth in more footfalls over that in November,” he says.
Besides creating compelling experiences for the end consumer, these occasions will also result in attracting significantly higher number of retailers to the mall in the long run, he said.
With consumers in cities slowly shifting to online shopping, the number of consumers visiting malls may come down over a period.
So, it is important to ramp up marketing activity at this time.
By making malls entertainment zones will help attracting people, says R.R. Aroon Kumar, Chief Financial Officer of Express Infrastructure Pvt Ltd that owns Express Avenue mall.
His company has spent a substantial amount of money in setting up the jingle forest and toy train.
“Families will be looking for a way to keep their children entertained while they go about shopping – hence the need for such a setting.”
Another busy mall in the city Phoenix Marketcity also got decked up. According to Vijay Choraria, Managing Director of Sharyans Resources Ltd, which developed the mall, more than attracting footfall the idea is to make consumers happy, give them a nice experience. “Be it for an evening stroll, a movie, shopping or eating out, we want people to come to our mall to have a great time in all,” he said.
It has lined up fashion shows and musical events for the season.
It has also flown in experts from other countries to light up the mall for the season.