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Malls Wooing Footfalls Back Again Post Covid

In the last six months since India opened up, here’s how malls are enhancing customer experiences to increase footfalls through their doors again:

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The retail landscape in India has gone through a paradigm shift in the last six months as malls and retail outlets cautiously open shop and look at new ways to increase footfalls. The industry has had to re-learn and re-strategize its offerings through different phases of unlocking, based on the post-COVID consumer preference.

With their large square footage spread across multiple floors, malls across India have had to make some really big changes to accommodate the new needs of a consumer that wants to safely enjoy the shopping, dining and entertainment experience in the midst of a pandemic. In the last six months since India opened up, here’s how malls are enhancing customer experiences to increase footfalls through their doors again:

Customer Engagement: Malls have had to take their in-house hygiene and sanitation to the next level in order to allay the fear of infection among consumers. Keeping all checks in place, malls have been hosting a number of virtual, interactive events including contests and parties involving influencers and celebrities to generate online engagement. Inorbit has connected with consumers by hosting virtual events like virtual tambola where customers could win gifts. Inorbit, Hyderabad, recently hosted the first marathon run post lockdown that saw tremendous participation among fitness lovers. The illuminated drive-through created by Inorbit, Malad, during Christmas also drove in footfalls. Décor too has played a crucial role when it comes to consumer engagement. Valentines day was celebrated in a big way at all 5 Inorbit malls with exceptional décor that served as selfie spots along with rewarding contests.

Safe dining: Post COVID, food courts and restaurants have had to up the cleanliness/hygiene factor keeping in mind the utmost safety of their visitors. Malls are being looked at as a safe socializing and dining zone because of their controlled environment. Among the safety measures followed by Inorbit malls at all their food courts are reduced and alternate seating arrangement, contactless payments etc. Several new eating joints have also opened up at malls to provide variety for visitors who look forward to trying out new cuisines after being locked in at home for months. Café Delhi Heights recently opened at Inorbit, Malad, while Inorbit, Hyderabad, visitors were treated to new brands like Theobroma, Cold Stone Creamery, Punjab Bistro, Kenny Rogers Roasters and Haldirams.

New Brands and Categories: Malls are launching new and exciting local and global brands to lure hesitant customers out of their homes post the pandemic. Health and wellness and athleisure segments, particularly, have seen a surging demand in the recent past. Within a span of six months, Inorbit malls across Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Vadodara have launched 50 new stores in the fashion, footwear, electronics and kids’ categories. Festive seasons like Diwali and Christmas also helped in spiking demand for new brands and brought in additional footfalls. Home décor continues to attract a large customer base with people wanting to do up their homes and also create efficient workspaces.

As shoppers become more confident about the stringent hygiene checks at malls as well as other shopping complexes, the footfalls are encouraging and helping India’s retail industry slowly limp back to normalcy.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house


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