BENGALURU : With footfall nowhere close to pre-Covid days, shopping malls are getting creative to lure customers again, with initiatives such as drive-in festivals, stores at your doorstep, and special festive
It’s been three months since shopping malls reopened in Bengaluru but the present footfall is still nowhere close to the pre-Covid numbers. For instance, Phoenix Marketcity Bengaluru is currently seeing just 30 per cent of the footfall it used to have on the weekends last year. “Now only about 14,000 to 16,000 people on Saturday and Sunday, respectively and 7,000 to 8,000 people throughout a weekday, which is about 32 per cent of the footfall during the same time last year,” says Gajendra Singh Rathore, senior centre director at the mall.
“Even with social distancing norms in place, the mall density can comfortably occupy about 13,500 people at any given point of time, which is currently at 2,500 to ,3000 people during peak hours at a time,” he adds. The scenario is similar with its neighbour as well. Inorbit Mall, Whitefield, which saw 15,000 customers on weekends before the lockdown, is now seeing 20 per cent of those numbers. The situation has prompted malls to get creative, and they are adopting new ways and initiatives to lure shoppers again.
Since concerns over stepping out still loom large, Inorbit Mall decided to get one step ahead in the waiting game by bringing the experience to people’s doorsteps. In August and September, they set up 10x8 sq.feet stalls of different brands in residential complexes like Adarsh Palm Meadows Society and Brigade Cosmopolis Society. On offer were brands selling athleisure, smart casuals and shoes, especially for running. “With the festive season around the corner, we are thinking of doing 3-4 more such rounds of this experience. And for the occasion, we will include stalls selling chocolates, savouries, home décor, ethnic fashion and gifting options,” says centre head Jawaaz Sheikh, adding that they saw more than 300 walk-ins during the previous two editions. Besides this, the mall is also continuing with its online shopping and curbside pickup experience, which was introduced in June.
With Deepavali and Dussehra coming up soon, Phoenix Marketcity Bengaluru is hoping the footfall will go up. Besides gearing up with festive decor and installations, they are also organising a shopping festival, with chances to win prizes up to Rs 50 lakh. In October, tthe mall will also organise two drive-in festivals, one for movies and another for food, both to be held in its 60,000 sq.ft ground.
“We don’t have permanent drive-in theatre facility but since we have the space for it, we are making temporary infrastructure. It will allow 90-100 cars at a time for the movie festival. Instead of seat numbers, people will get parking slots and can enjoy some new releases from the safety of their car,” says Rathore. The first edition, which is being organised by Zee Live and Zee Studios, will have Bollywood film Khaali Peeli and Tamil movie Ka Pae Ranasingam.
Orion Mall’s special shopping decor and festival will be introduced mid-October, and will give people a chance to win a 2BHK flat. The mall has also started live band performances, albeit without any seating arrangements. “The idea is to just liven the atmosphere during the weekend. We want our shoppers to feel some positive vibes when they come to the mall,” says deputy GM of marketing, Rahul Malhotra.