Pausing for Digitalisation
As things stand, India’s mall developers have little choice but to wait until the ongoing disruptions lower in intensity and government-mandated restrictions are eased. The only good news for them is that caseloads continue to decline in most parts of India, and some state governments are mulling cautious re-openings from the first week of June.
Shopping centres in Delhi and Mumbai have been locked down for more than a month and malls in other parts of India will reach similar time frames in coming weeks. However, regional lockdowns in 2021 have been less severe in terms of restrictions and as a result, shopping centres were able to initiate measures to interact and engage with shoppers.
Thanks to the lessons of 2020, most malls were somewhat prepared for the restrictions this time around; many shopping centres gave up their retail spaces to anchors and vanilla tenants off ering essential services.
Also, opening up more restaurants with take away services, was the other sector which came into limelight. Additionally, malls in Mumbai and Thane off ered ‘drive-through’ vaccination centres in their premises and this became a trend for other cities as well. Shopping centres in Delhi NCR, Kolkata and Bangalore also followed this move to maintain their relevance, despite a tough business environment.
The cover story of May 2021 explores how shopping centres have utilised the non-operational fi rst few weeks of FY21 to reinforce their strategies, plans and infrastructure by equipping themselves with digitalization — be it in customer outreach or enhancing in-mall experientials for future visits. We have a rundown on some key digital innovations being rolled out at shopping centres pan-India.
As always, we hope you find the issue informative and useful. Log on to our website https://www.indiaretailing.com/category/ shoppingcentre/ for more features, analysis and expert opinions.