Builders now target focussed groups, plan speciality malls
HYDERABAD: Changing aspirations of customers, increased competition from e-commerce players and falling margins have forced mall developers to increasingly look at building speciality malls like Food & Beverages, jewellery and apparel, taking a cue from the high streets of the country but with a twist.
Global property consultants and mall developers are more keen on having something like the DLF Cyberhub in Gurgaon, Sangam Courtyard, Epicura and DLF Emporio in Delhi and the Gold Souk in Gurgaon.
Builders are betting on the F&B and the entertainment sector among the specialised categories given the crowd that it draws. K Raheja-backed Inorbit Malls has constructed a one-lakh square feet mixed-use property near Terminal 2 of Mumbai Airport wherein it has allotted over 90% space to F&B players.
“Speciality malls are a relatively new concept in India and is an opportunity for mall owners given the changing consumer preference,” said Puneet Varma, assistant vice-president of Marketing at Inorbit Malls. “Also, with newer format of F&B outlets coming in, it helps in boosting footfalls.”
Though the footfalls were found to be relatively low in speciality malls, the mall builders and property consultants have found that the conversion rate in speciality malls was high owing to focussed group of consumers, said Pankaj Renjhen, MD of retail services at property consultants JLL.
“Also, with the increasing competition from e-tailers, there is a need for developing shopping centres that provide a more that provide a more specialised experience to shoppers with specific needs,” said Pankaj.
Further, he said speciality malls were found to work if they were positioned well around malls that offer a holistic shopping and leisure experience. He cited the example of DLF Emporio, which offers many luxury retail brands under one roof, strategically located alongside DLF Promenade and Ambience mall in New Delhi, attracting targeted footfalls and regular customer base.