Developed by Island Star Mall Developers, Phoenix MarketCity is spread across a total built up area of 1.4 million sq.ft. and has a gross leasable area of 9,70,000 sq.ft. It boasts of a nine-screen PVR multiplex spread across 85,000 sq.ft. and a 35,000 sq.ft food court. The mall has four floors with 300 stores, a 40,000 sq.ft parking space and is by far the largest mall in Bengaluru.
In an exclusive conversation with IMAGES Retail Bureau, Gajendra Singh, Centre Director of Phoenix MarketCity, Bengaluru, talks about the strategies and planning it has taken over the years to become one of the most sought-after shopping destinations in the country.
Tell us about the inception of Phoenix MarketCity?
Phoenix MarketCity Bengaluru is a marquee development in Retail Real Estate space that opened in 2011 and has established itself as a lifestyle and entertainment destination, operating with full occupancy. The mall has grown more than 15 to 20 per cent in terms of sales and bottom line.
Phoenix MarketCity Bengaluru revolutionised the customer shopping experience and has become a fully integrated recreational Centre in Bengaluru in a very short period of time. It has established itself as an urban lifestyle consumption destination, which offers a holistic and premium experience for retail, entertainment and movies, food and beverages and many more. With over 300 stores representing an exhaustive mix of international, national and regional premium brands, Phoenix MarketCity offers the most comprehensive and compelling lifestyle shopping experience in Bengaluru. The mall hosts several theme based events, and large scale musical concerts where best in class music bands and popular Bollywood singers perform.
What, according to you, are the key elements that determine the success of a mall?
There is no one formulae for success of any mall. A right mix of research and planning, location, design, brand and category mix, customer-centricity, and constantly refreshing and updating the mall to stay ahead of the competition. We focus a lot in personalisation of services off ered to customers.
What has Phoenix MarketCity done in terms of innovation and customer-centricity?
It is important to have some sort of differentiation so that we rise above competition. We have a courtyard where we host a plethora of events, such as live concerts by acclaimed artists, and shopping festivals.
We have recently launched a Phoenix Gift Card which offers customer abundance of choice for gifting.
At our centre, we have always used technology and innovation in favour of customer satisfaction. The touch screen floor plans used at the mall, innovative direction signages, themed décor, art and ambience upgradation to meet expectations of our customers and retailers, are few factors that differentiate our mall from others.
Tell us about the digital experience, personalisation, and intelligent technologies Phoenix MarketCity offers consumers?
The mall has digital directories at multiple locations to help our patrons to navigate. Our website is interactive, user-friendly, filled with every possible information a consumer needs. We are also very active on social media platforms, making sure that we draw in huge traffic and engage consumers online real time. To ensure more consumer loyalty, we have introduced a Phoenix Gift Card.
Apart from this, we offer personalised services ranging from booking a cab, restaurant reservation to bill payments and a 24×7 fully loaded ambulance. We are also equipped with high-tech security systems, night vision IP based CCTV cameras, and offer consumers the facility to make parking payments through digital wallet.
Let’s talk about your location and zoning strategies…
When we were scouting for land to open Phoenix MarketCity in Bengaluru, we looked for the following in the immediate neighbourhood – a commercial area surrounding major IT Parks, high-end residential gated communities, hotels, and schools, so as to attract the desired profile of customers. Our development is now surrounded with premium residential layouts and commercial offices, which forms a huge captive catchment for the mall.
As far as zoning goes, I feel it’s important to develop category clusters that offer customers multiple choices in the same product category. This not only helps increase revenues, but also helps in building recall value for a customer in a mall with over 300 stores. It attracts both frequent shoppers and the occasional impulse shoppers and creates a demand for the category leaders to be in the mall.
What are your views on Omnichannelisation of malls in India?
Omnichannel requires a huge investment, a well sequenced road map of digital marketing and channel integration initiatives rooted in a deep understanding of customer behaviour and related economics. Customers don’t care about channels of shopping, they are looking for shopping with ease and simplicity. We will certainly go for it only once we are sure we want to walk this path.
Do you feel an F&B zone and hospitality are important in generating footfall in malls?
A well-planned food court is like an anchor that offers a wide variety of dining options in a casual environment. Categories like kids, entertainment and cinema, coupled with a food court makes for a very strong attraction point for consumers. Varied F&B formats in a mall results in higher frequency of repeat customer visits and longer time spent by them every visit. Currently, food services take upto 15 per cent of global retail space and could grow to 20 per cent by 2025.
Then there is hospitality, which is ever so important as it makes consumers feel very cared for. From security guards greeting shoppers with a smile, to efficient and friendly housekeepers in rest rooms, everyone adds to the experience. This is one of the
main reasons we invest a lot in training our staff .
Tell us about some other initiatives taken at your end to keep the footfalls rolling?
Other than refreshing our brand mix, our key focus area is to enhance the overall experience for the entire family. As a result, we are expanding our entertainment areas, adding varied food and beverages options. We have recently invested to enhance the sensorial experience by adding fragrance architecture, have upgraded our mall interiors; we invest in decoration and art. We also host a variety of events like high-end fashion shows, musical concerts, shopping festivals and much more. These initiatives have helped the center become a holistic urban lifestyle consumption destination.