New Delhi April 2
Find a soul mate, walk into a mall and get out married. Welcome to the new age of speciality malls. With the objective of differentiating themselves from the intense competition, mall developers are setting up malls that offer products and services catering to specific needs.
Omaxe Ltd is setting up `Wedding Malls' that will offer `mehendi' and `teeka' artists, `pundits' to solemnise the nuptial ties and halls where parties can be hosted. Even travel desks to take care of honeymoon package requirements. "Consumers now want value-added differentiated products and these malls would cater to just that," said Mr Arvind Parakh, CEO-Corporate Strategy and Finance, Omaxe Ltd.
Apart from three Wedding Malls, Omaxe is also setting up a property to sell only home and office interiors.
On cards are dedicated mall for automobiles and another one for health and beauty, both in Gurgaon, according to an ICICI-Technopak study. Malls for hardware and software in Bangalore and healthcare in Kolkata are operational, according to the study.
'The conversion rate for customer walk-ins into sales are as high as 70-80 per cent in this kind of malls as compared to 8-10 per cent in regular malls,' said Mr Ashish Gupta, Vice-Chairman and Joint Managing Director, Aerens Gold Souk Group.
The customers at his Gold Souk, chain of malls selling only jewellery, are repeat customers, he adds. With high conversion rates, a lot of irrelevant costs such as electricity and cost of maintaining urinals are also taken care of.
It also makes business-sense as it is easier to get tenants in such a mall. 'We had to sell the Gold Souks really hard in the beginning but now retailers understand and it is easier to rope them in,' said Mr Gupta. The Aerens Gold Souk Group is extending this concept by setting up larger malls that will have exclusive zones for jewellery, retail products, luxury goods and entertainment with separate entrance and exit for each zone. While the profile of this kind of malls existed, the format is new, says Mr Gupta. There are localities popular for products such as furniture and jewellery in each city, but bringing them under one roof is the new format, explains Mr Gupta.
The Delhi-based GTM Group plans to set up 10-12 malls across the country that will house only educational institutions. To start with, the Group is constructing a mall in Jaipur that will bring together 60 colleges and institutes. This concept has been popular in the developed countries and it holds promising prospects in the long run in India too, says Mr Parakh.
Taken from Business Line
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