The vibrant mall culture of India had dimmed to its faintest, and the retail industry has been one of the worst-hit by the mother of all pandemics. Many a glitzy brand outlet has closed down and thousands of shop-floor employees have been left out to dry. The destruction wrought by the novel coronavirus has been widespread and untold. But water always finds its own level, and life always finds a way. Even as the pandemic rages on and life is far from what we once knew as normal, the unlockdowns are triggering a new way of life. So also for malls, which are now seeing the emergence of a new “serious buyer.” That’s the common thread that Fibre2Fashion picked up from the thousands of words that mall operators/ owners shared with us. What we had at hand were six mall operators owning 20 malls spread over 10 million square feet, across the landscape. Now, that’s some ground to cover.

What were the footfalls and conversion rates prior to covid-19, and what about now?

DLF: The numbers have increased substantially over the last month. For instance, DLF Promenade has revived to over 50 per cent of pre-covid levels during the weekends whereas weekdays are witnessing around 35–40 per cent. Our luxury malls have seen an increase in footfall since it has always attracted loyal guests. The majority of brands across our malls are doing well as the customers who are visiting us now are coming with an intention to buy. With the festive season starting, we expect a surge in footfalls and we anticipate an increase in demand for discretionary shopping.

Select Citywalk: The monthly footfalls before the lockdown were about 12 lakh. During the first month of Unlock 1.0, Select Citywalk witnessed 10,000 footfalls daily on an average, which has now increased to about 6.5 lakh on a monthly basis within the acceptable social distancing and capacity norms. In relation to the footfalls, the conversion figures have been optimistic and encouraging, and most brands are happy with the performance.

Capital: The footfalls have drastically decreased. It is only 25–30 per cent of what it used to be earlier. However, multiplexes, and family entertainment centres are still not operational in malls, which have been a great footfall driver. Also, food courts have not been fully operational yet in many malls. On the other hand, since most customers are now visiting for planned purchases and are serious buyers; the conversion rate has gone up, as high as 70–80 per cent.

Inorbit: Pre-covid, malls drew maximum footfall on weekends; that’s also because malls are social spaces to hang out, dine and have a good time. Since malls are operating without multiplexes, family entertainment centres and without the food & beverage experience, there isn’t much of difference in the weekday and weekend footfall. We are witnessing serious shoppers and spend per person is high.

Mahagun: Our footfall was 20,000 per day and conversion rate was around 50–55 per cent. Now, post-lockdown the footfall has come down close to 40–45 per cent of pre-covid levels, but the conversion rate has become 65–70 per cent as people visiting the mall are keen on shopping.

What is the arrangement with your retailer/brand tenants with respect to rents and other charges?

DLF: For retail: We gave a complete rent waiver for the lockdown period and a 75 per cent waiver on MG (maintenance guarantee) rent in June. And 50 per cent, 30 per cent, and 10 per cent of waivers have been passed on in subsequent quarters. Also, CAM (common area maintenance) and other utilities charges have been reduced across properties at 20–25 per cent. For F&B: We gave a complete rent waiver for the lockdown period. For June till September-end – 100 per cent MG rent waiver has been passed on to operators with rental based only as per their sales, therefore partnering with them in this tough time. Also, CAM and other utilities charges have been reduced across properties at 20–25 per cent.

Select Citywalk: We have been working with a nuanced and balanced approach and great fairness with all our rental partners. We aim to stand in solidarity with the retail industry and formulate the best possible outcomes. Our brands have been supportive and have cohesively worked together with the mall management on all aspects as we look forward to festive times ahead.

Capital: Most malls have tried to accommodate retailers in some way or the other. An arrangement has been worked out for lockdown and post-lockdown periods up to March 2021 in most cases. Malls have been more generous for lockdown periods waving off up to 100 per cent rentals. However, post-lockdown developers are expecting at least 50 per cent of minimum guarantee. At the same time, certain retailers have pushed for pure revenue share deals at least for this financial year and many developers too have relented. The waiver given also depends on the category the brand serves, impact on business due to covid-19, brand value, size among other factors. However, when it comes to CAM, HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and other utility bills, since these are more of reimbursement to the developers, there is very less relief given on these components.

Inorbit: The mall and brand relations go hand in hand. The pain of lockdown was faced by both the mall as well as brands. Over the years, we have built a strong foundation and despite the business constraints we are pleased to share that our brand partners have been quite supportive and have stood by us to deal with the current situation. Our engagement levels have been high with all our brands and we have worked together to achieve our common objective of how we can boost sales for the mall.

Mahagun: We have waived off the rental charges by 100 per cent and maintenance guarantee to 50 per cent for the months of April–June and are currently charging 50 per cent of rental and 75 per cent maintenance charges. We understand being sensitive with our retailers was need of the hour, and therefore this model was adopted. In F&B segment, 25 per cent revenue share inclusive of maintenance is being charged, and that will continue till December 2020.

How many stores have closed? Any more closures expected?

DLF: The percentage is not much.

Select Citywalk: A few brands have shut down operations. We are not expecting any other store to close in the near future.

Capital: Closures as of now have been minimal. Brands which have sent notices for termination belong to F&B (regional brands) and travel bags categories. However, developers are being more accommodative with such brands who have been adversely impacted.

Inorbit: Our planning has been meticulous and despite the business constraints we managed to open all our malls with over 80 per cent occupancy levels. When we say 80 per cent occupancy, we are saying we opened with almost all brands that were allowed to operate. The multiplex, FEC and F&B are not allowed to trade. Hence, barring these we opened 80 per cent of the stores. All major anchors such as Shoppers Stop, Lifestyle, H&M, Big Bazaar and Reliance Retail, etc were operational from day one of re-opening. Also, no brand has been asked to exit. Few brands faced staff issues and so got delayed by a day or two. But they commenced operations as soon as their staff and stock issues were sorted out. On the contrary, post-reopening we welcomed new stores which were due to open and couldn’t operate because of the lockdown. We opened Charles & Keith, CK Jeans and Krispy Kreme at Hyderabad, we welcomed the JBL Harman store at Malad, and a few others in Vadodara and our other malls.

Mahagun: The store closures have been a routine thing in malls; it is not a primary outcome of the covid-19 situation. Brands keep on getting replaced, a mere 2–2.5 per cent closure of stores have taken place due to non-payment issues. However, we are still trying to sort a way out for them.

What percentage of closure has been that of fashion stores?

DLF: There were hardly one or two stores.

Select Citywalk: We have had fashion and apparel outlets show a robust growth. Last month witnessed the launch of Decathlon, while Zara reopened with a larger floor area and EA7 has opened its first store in India here. EA7 Emporio Armani store is not just couture, but focuses on athleisure collections too.

Capital: None so far; at least in the malls managed by Beyond Squarefeet. However, retailers are in a consolidation mode and they are willing to shut non-performing stores where the developers are not extending support.

Mahagun: No closure has been recorded for fashion stores in our malls. They are receiving less customers, but not to the extent of having to shut down.

What has been the number of layoffs?

Select Citywalk: As an entity, the shopping centre has retained all its employees. We cannot comment on the retail brands.

Capital Mall: Most of the mall developers have so far avoided layoffs.

Which of your malls are worst hit and in which city/town?

DLF: None; all our malls that have reopened are recovering week on week.

Capital: Generally, the malls which were last opened or cities like Bhopal, Bhubaneswar and Haridwar, etc, where weekend curfew was enforced by local authorities were the worst hit. Thankfully, post Unlock 4, such local curfews will be limited to containment zones only. Malls in tier II and III cities have shown more resilience than malls in metro cities.

Inorbit: Tier II and III city malls have bounced back faster—that’s also because the number of cases in those cities are far lesser than in metros. But there is a uniform trend across all malls in all cities. All of them are growing at the same pace. That’s also because 30 per cent of a mall is not operational—the family entertainment centre, multiplex and dine-in restaurants are shut. Timings too are restricted. We have a demand for space at the mall and are operating with zero vacancy. There hasn’t been any major drop in rentals; in fact, we are getting better prices due to the scarcity of space for new brands.

Mahagun: Every market is hit similarly and now we are going back with our strategies and safety measures in place. We are positive about recovery as customers are keen and feel much safer shopping in an organised and controlled environment like malls.

Pre-pandemic, were there any openings in the pipeline? What is the status now?

DLF: Yes, many stores have opened recently as per our plan. Uniqlo has opened its new store in DLF Mall of India, Noida. Similarly, brands like Go Sports, Desigual, Perona, Tweak Salon, etc have opened their stores in DLF Avenue, New Delhi. Many others are to follow soon.

Select Citywalk: We recently launched a big-ticket brand like Decathlon and Zara expanded its store and re-launched a bigger one. Brands are going for bigger plans and moving at a pace where they want to expand their businesses to meet the expectation of rising demand in the next few months. With things getting back to normal and people coming out, we can see all categories making sales.

Capital: Yes, many openings were in pipeline which were put on hold. However, once unlocking of malls started, brands started to open as well. One of the major launches of 2020 was Phoenix Palassio at Lucknow in July. Also, before lockdown wherever brands had already invested in store fit-outs, they have opened the stores, after negotiating with developers for rent waivers for a limited time.

Mahagun: There were certain refurbishments that were lined up in the retail segment but were delayed. Opening of stores were not lined up as 95 per cent of our mall area was already operational.

Which are the worst-hit retail categories?

DLF: As per a survey conducted by the Retailers Association of India (RAI), the hardest-hit categories are jewellery and watches followed by QSRs (quick service restaurants), furniture, and furnishings specific for the North market.

Capital: The worst-hit have been the ones yet to open, like multiplex and FEC (family entertainment centre) / gaming zones. The next are F&B brands especially fine dine restaurants, which had to close before dinner time and not allowed to serve liquor. Other categories were bags and leather, formalwear, watches, luxury goods, etc.

Inorbit: Currently, the ethnic and formalwear categories are affected. But with the upcoming festive season, the demand for these categories should go up.

Mahagun: Fashion accessories and clothing segments have been the worst hit.

What new trends in the shopping habits of people are brands/malls witnessing?

DLF: (a) Amidst the ongoing pandemic, there has been a significant shift in the patterns of consumer shopping. With their key focus on safety, it becomes imperative to provide a safe and hassle-free shopping experience. The post-pandemic trend for the shoppers will heavily rely on a contactless and self-checkout experience ensuring minimal direct contact with others; (b) Contactless service—for dining and shopping; and (c) Virtual store navigation for direct contact with brand stores.

Select Citywalk: Consumers have become serious buyers now, considering that they don’t engage in window-shopping and prefer buying and shopping all that they want. Today, consumers have a pre-knowledge about the services and products they want to shop for, which makes their shopping experience easier once they are either online or offline. Customers are appreciating new initiatives set by the shopping centre for a seamless experience and are opting for these, right from delivery services / curbside pickup / personal shopper and our online services like a WhatsApp-based concierge which answers general questions on visiting hours and protocols and connects customers to in-store brands.

Capital: Discretionary shopping has drastically reduced, and shopping lately has been more need based. Even if it is a high-ticket purchase, people are buying it only if they need it. We did see a huge surge in the electronic segment, especially laptops and smartphones since most of work force moved on to the work-from-home culture and education was also imparted through the online mode. We hope to see changes in this trend once the festive season sets in.

Inorbit: After lockdown, consumers are spending more on necessities like grocery, hygiene essentials, health and wellness, etc. With people indulging more in health and fitness regimes, we have witnessed a demand for sportswear and athleisure. A large number of consumers have embraced digital mediums of shopping; so, we have enabled convenience-driven shopping experiences like video calling / virtual shopping and curb or drive-in pick up from the mall.

Pacific: ? People are back to optional shopping and not just essentials, spend towards apparels, lifestyle, cosmetics, health & beauty is growing. ? People are eating out and F&B has started doing well. ? Sports, electronics, home decor and furnishing continue to do well.

Mahagun: The shopping habits have changed drastically, and people are now approaching places where they feel secure and be taken care of. Each store in our mall makes sure there is no crowding of people and the density of visitors is maintained all the time with appropriate social distancing. Temperature screening upon entrance is mandatory with the sanitisation of hands.

With people restricting outside travel, ecommerce is gaining more popularity. How are malls gearing up further to ensure an omnichannel presence for brands?

DLF: The retail world was shifting towards making an online presence to complement their offline stores even before the pandemic. However, the overall mall experience is here to stay and keep people hooked to it. We are focusing on a digital approach in communicating our message effectively to the masses. Through the launch of our revamped DLF Lukout App, we are strengthening our omnichannel presence and capabilities. The app is a one-stop solution that provides real-time traffic, express check-in with a safe pass, curbside pickup, assistance in shopping, and contactless dining. This will help to bridge the gap between us and our consumers ensuring them that a safe experience is waiting for them at the mall.

Select Citywalk: While consumers have got accustomed with the new normal, their shopping priorities and patterns have changed. As a preferred retail destination, we have kept ahead of the curve of the ever-evolving consumer behaviour and changing dynamics. With our intent to offer safety, convenience, and comfort at the same time, we launched our new initiatives as a dimension to our engagement with our consumers, with a seamless integration on the online and offline experience. We now offer concierge services for all queries, contactless ordering and home delivery services, personal shopper service, curbside pickup and have introduced an online shopping guide also.

Capital: Both malls and retailers have embraced technology like never before. Most reputed malls now have an app of their own, which takes into account the shopping behaviour of consumers. Many reputed brands were already available both online and offline and now more have joined the list. As per a recent survey, over 70 per cent of retailers—national and regional—have turned to technology to help them tide this rough wave and help sustain and grow businesses from there.

Inorbit: We have introduced several value-added services to give customers a convenient and safe shopping experience: (a) WhatsApp video call shopping: To make the shopping experience more personalised. This service enables customers to make a WhatsApp video call to the staff present at the stores in our malls, who can go around show customers the latest products virtually and help them shop. These products will then be delivered to the customer’s doorstep; (b) Curbside pickup: This service is where customers can drive to the mall and pick up their pre-ordered products from the curb pick up location without entering the mall. Services like contactless parking and dining at the food courts have been introduced by the management.

Pacific: We have introduced shopping methods as per the convenience and safety of our customers like—shop from home, back to shopping offers, free home delivery, WhatsApp video shopping, and block-and-shop to give customers a sense of exclusivity. Block-and-shop gives a customer the privilege to pre-book a slot for themselves and shop safely in that store. The request received from customers via a WhatsApp business account is addressed by central executive who allocates shopping slots to two other executives that further take customer on a video call for shopping and ensure closure. Respective store managers are kept in loop about the customers visiting the store or coming to shop via a video call. The customers coming to visit mall, leave their cars at drop off area; limited entry in stores is encouraged with no queue in billing area. With Pacific at Door services, gift vouchers with every shopping transaction are also being given. Mall authorities have made the retailers and other management personnel aware of keeping a check on guidelines being followed. State-of-the-art contactless food ordering and payments app at all our food courts is also running successfully.

Mahagun: Most brands are offering discounts and sale offers. There always remain a percentage of discount that online stores can offer, physical stores are much more appealing and handier when it comes to trials and experiencing a product. People are keen on experiencing it; hence, the co-existence of stores and ecommerce will continue.

How have brands/malls adapted to the new way of reaching consumers?

DLF: We have noticed that customers have become more cautious of their surroundings. With contactless experience becoming the utmost priority, malls have been at the forefront in adopting the new protocols that will help us gain our consumers’ trust once again. Keeping all this in mind, we launched exciting new features on the DLF Malls Lukout App. With contactless shopping becoming the new normal, we have introduced an innovative feature of The Lukout Closet, a digital wardrobe that will give a complete immersive visual experience of the curated trendiest looks. Further, with an exclusive DLF Malls Shop Assist service, it connects consumers with the brand’s store manager directly and shoppers can also enjoy live video calling and virtual store navigation with this feature on the app.

Select Citywalk: Brands have quickly evolved to incorporate a more “phygital” era of sale and purchase. Consumers now prefer experiences that bring them closer to products and not people; they prefer virtual tours and personal shoppers instead of stepping out too often to make a purchase. This evolution will continue for the next few months. As part of the new normal, we introduced a suite of services to ensure comfort and convenience to consumers by offering a seamless retail experience. These services offer hassle-free access to products and a process with minimal human interaction.

Capital: Malls in collaboration with brands are taking all necessary steps to gain consumer confidence to come and buy from the malls. However, they are also exploring and implementing other ways of reaching out to consumers with the help of data and latest technology available. Some reputed names in retail and shopping malls have also tried to take the store to the customer instead.

Inorbit: The lockdown has changed the market and we are observing some new patterns in consumer behaviour. Adapting to these changes, brands have started thinking beyond their conventional means and methods of communicating with their customers. We not just want customers to feel safe but also offer them a hassle-free and convenient shopping. We introduced add-on services like a video-calling facility wherein consumers can shop through a video call and get shopping bags delivered to their doorstep or do a self-pick up from the mall’s drive-in location. For malls, this is the time to explore new ways of engagement as consumers evolve with the new normal and we are making every effort to offer a safe shopping experience to customers. We have our own virtual mall experience for customers launching soon. This will allow customers to view in-store products at the mall and shop. Recently, we announced another initiative called ‘Inorbit on the Move’, currently piloted at Inorbit Whitefield and soon to be scaled up to all our other locations. Through this initiative, we set up shopping stalls of brands inside premium residential complexes. Residents can safely shop within their housing complexes. We have also introduced other services like contactless dining at the food courts, powered by Zomato.

Pacific: Brands are flexible and have partnered in all activities mentioned earlier. They are also focusing more on digital marketing and promotion.

Mahagun: Retail companies are offering home deliveries and easy return/exchange policies to their valuable customers. Brands have become more flexible to fit in the standards of new normal.

Work at the shopfloor has been affected because of the norms of social distancing.

What steps are being taken to train shopfloor personnel for this?

DLF: To provide a safe and pleasurable shopping experience, employees are being advised to maintain social distance at all times. Wearing a mask is mandatory for everyone. They are being educated to assist and provide consumers a hassle-free and contactless shopping experience. We are also ensuring close monitoring and health check-ups of all our employees and staff members.

Select Citywalk: Across our shopping centre and at individual outlets, store staff have undergone rigorous training to ensure a seamless and warm shopping experience. This includes a complete understanding of maintaining hygiene, sanitisation and social distancing for visitors. Maintaining strict SOPs at the backend as well as managing visitors at the store has been part of the training. Learning to maintain these SOPs while giving a premium experience has been the focus of the training.

Capital: Both the mall staff (parking, security and housekeeping, etc) and retailers’ staff have been trained to ensure all SOPs prepared by Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI), RAI and various government authorities are being followed. Right from temperature checks to wearing of masks to maintaining social distancing, all is being enforced strictly inside the malls managed by professional teams. In fact, there have been instances where customers are found complaining as they have to undergo such checks at each shop they enter.

Inorbit: We are giving utmost priority to train our staff on necessary precautions to make shopping a memorable experience for customers. There are safety signages at all important touchpoints, educating customers on dos and don’ts. There are announcements at regular intervals informing customers on maintaining social distancing, wearing masks, sanitising hands, etc. On the floors, there are social distancing marshals who constantly monitor customers’ safety. Brands like H&M are using an occupancy app in all our reopened stores that allows them to keep a track of number of customers in the store at any given point and are thus able to regulate and ensure that social distancing guidelines are being followed at all times. They are also following a return and exchange policy of 30 days; so, customers are welcome to try garments at home and return them if required.

Pacific: ? Each brand has its personal brand safety guidelines. ? Mall team carries out frequent trainings of the retail store. ? Frequent audits of retail stores to ensure strict adherence. ? Awareness and reminders on social distancing and respiratory hygiene through communication throughout mall and announcements. ? Educational messages through online and offline platforms on covid-19 by use of two characters Harry and Jazz – live size cutouts, social media animations, etc are being carried out. ? Plexi-glass screens at the checkout/payment terminals to avoid direct contact between customers and staff as an extra precaution is being carried out.

Mahagun: The mall authorities were given stern directions and guidelines by the state administration. This required us to maintain proper social distancing and hygiene. Every mall prepared their SOPs accordingly and we shared a 120 page/ pointer guideline with all our stores over mail and in hard copy formats. In a standalone store, there cannot be more than 4–5 persons at a time. We are briefing the brands time to time about following these guidelines and addressing their concerns in case of any issue arising from a customer’s end. The support from brands have been commendable, as they are constantly keeping a watch on shopper density and asking them to wait in case the number increases.

How do you think the mall culture is expected to change, and what steps are you taking to meet these challenges?

DLF: The dynamics of a mall experience will evolve and undergo considerable change more systematically in the coming months. It will become important to reach out to customers by providing an overall safe experience. We are working towards our approach of curating experience that will have physical and digital presence simultaneously. As mentioned earlier, our Lukout App provides consumers some interesting features that include the Lukout closet—a digital wardrobe, shopping assistance, real-time traffic, express check-in with a safe pass, and contactless dining for their convenience.

Select Citywalk: We are already in the phase where the mall culture has changed, where consumers are preferring both online and offline services. A visit to a mall is no more just a leisure activity and visitors are coming with a purchase thought in mind. As a public space, our first and foremost step has been to take care of the safety and hygiene of both the visitors and mall staff. Our new services and everyday zeal to serve them better is making things better and easier. After the Unlock, we made sure that through all our social media platforms and marketing channels, we shared initiatives we have brought in for their safety and comfort. As a public space with the trust that our customers are showing us for all our initiatives, it gives us more confidence in building a safe environment for all.

Capital: One change is that more people have been buying online and the trend is not limited to metros anymore. As per one report, India has 120 million online consumers which is expected to reach 220 million by 2025. According to another report, India has 400 million millennials, making up a third of the population and 46 per cent of country’s workforce. Looking at such huge potential, malls will certainly have to opt for omnichannel and take the shopping experience of customers to a new level. We see more of technological integration in shopping and enhanced customer experience going forward.

Inorbit: Some changes are good, and people today are more evolved and cautious about hygiene and safety. They deliver a sense of responsibility towards one another. As a mall, we will continue to stay concerned for our customers and ensure we welcome them to have a great shopping experience. Very soon we will see all sectors opening up and once the entertainment and F&B sectors are open, people will step out to eat, socialise, etc, but with safety precautions.

Pacific: ? People are more conscious now and behaving responsibly. ? The mall’s focus is on providing safe and seamless shopping experience. ? Malls are keeping the essence of offline shopping experience alive by bringing in innovative marketing initiatives to attract like-minded customers.

Mahagun: In future, the malls will be more focused on social distancing. We have restricted to 50 per cent of the seating capacity in our food courts.

By when are you expecting the revival process to commence?

DLF: As per the latest trend reports by Anarock-RAI, the third quarter will prove to be better for shopping malls due to the upcoming festive season. The festive season from Dussehra to Diwali is expected to see a resumption in sales somewhat closer to pre-covid levels. We are positive that there will be a substantial increase by the end of the year. For the industry to revive it may take up to a year.

Select Citywalk: It is too soon to predict the revival of the industry. After the successive unlocks we hope things turn fruitful for retailers. It helps in increasing competition and enhances finances for all.

Capital: We anticipate the revival process to commence Diwali onwards with a hope that multiplex and family entertainment centres will also be open by then. By the beginning of the next financial year, we are quite hopeful that costumer sentiments would have improved by and large.

Pacific: We are expecting the revival process to commence Diwali onwards.

Mahagun: It will not be before the commencement of the next financial year—April 2021. We are expecting to reach 75 per cent of our sales numbers of the pre-covid times by December due to the festive season, and by April it may reach 90 per cent.

What are the plans for the upcoming festive season?

DLF: Footfalls have been encouraging during festive weekends across properties. For instance, the DLF Promenade footfall went up 18,000 during the Independence Day weekend. We are hopeful that the demand will normalise by Diwali.

Select Citywalk: We are all set to welcome visitors for the festive season. The season brings with it hope and renewal and better consumer sentiment. The shopping centre has always catered to customers’ safety and concerns. Considering real-time scenarios and requirements, this festive season too will be special for customers. We want to make sure that this pandemic doesn’t hold back any of us. We plan to enhance the festivities with mall decorations in a way where everyone can enjoy and be part of it. Mall decorations attract a lot of visitors and at the same time, it gives retailers an opportunity to showcase themselves in the most creative forms by showcasing their new collections and launches.

Capital: In collaboration with retailer partners, malls plan to catch customers’ attention with various offers that they would find hard to resist.

Inorbit: Footfalls and consumption are growing slowly and steadily. With the upcoming festive season followed by the end-of-season sale, the sentiments look positive and we can expect a revival. All our brands are ready to offer the latest collections in apparel. We have exciting offers lined up. Our malls will also have the festive decor to welcome customers and give them a festive feel while shopping.

Pacific: Festivities will be celebrated with the same fervour and vibrancy like last year; we are looking forward to a great sale. Our team is always keen on making the mall vibe more enthusiastic during Diwali and Navratri times for our valued customers, and we will be doing the same this year as well. We are planning for a larger than life decor clubbed with customer engagement activities. We are planning to incentivise customers for every purchase in the mall, by assured gifts, big ticket prizes and cashback offers. Apart from this, our team will be at the beck and call for ensuring utmost safety and security in the premises. The shopping experience has undergone a great transformation over the years, and we have always been upfront in adapting ourselves to satisfy our patrons and valued customers.

Mahagun: Events or gatherings are not permitted by the administration which were previously the spark of every festive season. For this time, we will be limiting ourselves to decoration, displays and creative installations. The promotion for same will be done via our social media platforms. Along with this, the brands are already running lucrative offers for attracting their customers.

Inputs by Paulami Chatterjee.

This article was first published in the November 2020 edition of the print magazine.