Since its launch in August 2016, Lodha Xperia Mall at Palava has become the new destination for shopaholics in and around Thane and Mumbai. With a plethora of options in premium and international brands across a bouquet of more than 135 stores and 8 large sized anchors spread across 4 floors along with a 6 screen-PVR cinema, Timezone and a foodcourt in the FEC rank, Lodha Xperia has everything for shoppers of all age groups.
In an exclusive interaction with IMAGES Retail, Brijesh Pandey, Associate Vice President - Retail, Lodha Xperia Mall, explains what makes Lodha popular among the Millennials. He also talks about the mall’s growth, its successful journey so far and future plans.
Tell us about Lodha Xperia, the largest destination mall in Thane.
Lodha Xperia has created a shopping and lifestyle destination like none other in and around Thane. The mall which has been built by the Lodha Group has the perfect mix of anchor and vanilla stores across all categories, making it the a one-stop-destination for everyone to shop, eat and enjoy.Why did you choose Thane to build your mall?
The mall is planned as part of a township project by name of ‘Palava’, spread over an area of more than 350 acres and occupied by approximately 27,000 residents of ours in Dombivali. Palava is growing city and we are sure that the mall will self-sustained in couple of years. The intent was to offer a world class experience in shopping with standard national and international labels and take the aspiration of residents a level up.
International brands monopolise major limelight in malls. Do you think homegrown brands should be also given more space and value?
Xperia as a mall has been successful in creating a brilliant equilibrium between international and homegrown brands by offering each of the ample opportunities to showcase their offerings through the multiple communication mediums of the mall.
Tell us about innovation in customer engagement.
We have been incredibly successful in engaging our target audience, be it through our traditional mediums of Print & OOH or digital mediums such as Facebook, Instagram, websites, alliances, etc. Our events such as Xperia Fashion Week, Xperia Star, Indian Food Festival, etc. have been huge crowd-pullers. Overall, our holistic approach of engagement has enabled us reach massive landmarks in the industry.
What has been your marketing and promotion strategy this year?
We have managed to paint the town orange and blue, amplifying the popularity of Xperia Mall, by meticulously planning our campaigns and coinciding them with important dates of the yearly calendar. We have experimented with different mediums and have been successful in broadcasting the required communication.
Is Lodha Xperia an Omnichannel mall? What are the tech innovations implemented in the mall?
We believe that technology is the way forward for the global shopping centre industry. Personal consumer experience or the delight factor for an individual are things that need to be worked on. Once we are able to replicate the same with the help of newage technology that is when Omnichannelisation would make sense for us.
Tell us about the design of the mall? What is your USP?
The mall is developed with best in class finishes on storefront, common area finishes which is mix of stone and glass, the experience of utility and services from washroom to baby change units and a world class food court.
Tell us about the zoning in your mall?
The centre is balanced in zoning, which is well executed by the lease and design team. On either ends we have departmental stores which pull and distribute footfalls equally. Vanilla stores are in the centre of the mall. The ground floor has H&M, Forever 21, accessories from Aldo, western fashion from AND and Latin Quarters and an ethnic taste in the form of Global Desi, W. There are also unisex offerings from retailers like Being Human as well as footwear and men’s formal and semi-formal wear offered by retailers like Zodiac, Oxemberg, Blackberry’s.
Then there is the coffee shop experience of Starbucks as well as Café Coffee Day.
The first floor has women’s ethnic wear with the likes of Sabhyata, Cotton Culture, Suti, Biba and Mahuva. Footwear brands from Bata to Puma, activewear offerings from D:FY, Speedo, eyewear & optics from Hollywood Optics, Lenskart.com and men’s casual wear from Mufti to Spykar also on this floor.
The second floor has options on CDM&T, electronics, home improvement, furniture, gifting and toys, while the third level is dedicated towards food, with more than 20 outlets in QSR formats, entertainment provided with industry bests including Timezone & PVR, topped with casual and fine dining experience from British Brewing Company, PopTates, 29 States, KFC, Pizza Hut and East Asian Spic Co.
Tell us about your food court? How different it is going to be from the rest?
We, as a brand, believe in providing comfort to our consumers in all aspects, during their visit at our mall. The lounge-type seating in our food court translates our efforts to provide them the luxury they deserve. A thorough research and analysis while planning Xperia Mall, helped us gauge that consumers were keen to rate food offerings as a major factor in their experience of a mall. We simply decided to give our consumers the best.
Luxury Food courts are becoming a favourite among mall operators and real estate developers who see them as a part of an experiential retail strategy, and among consumers who are eating out more than ever and want authentic dishes to satisfy increasingly sophisticated palette. The concept is slightly different, where the food court acts as a stable anchor unit itself and increases the customers dwell time thereby increasing the customer spends too. The unique up segment design has evolved the food court to transform in a food destination than the typical food court, helps drive more consumer traffic. This also gives us opportunity to induct and off er products made by local artisans, food-oriented boutiques, flea shops and other interactive elements such as entertainment, screening of sports and other media.
Tell us about your entertainment partners – Why did you choose them?
PVR Cinemas are market leaders in their field. At Xperia, there is a 6-screen cinema to cater to the movies and entertainment needs.
Timezone in the FEZ category caters to the gaming needs of consumers in Xperia. They are one of the best in the industry and are keen to take the gaming and FEZ to higher levels using their expertise to innovate by matching the advancement in technology and ability to churn games in the category.
Our research findings suggested that the combination of PVR Cinemas and Timezone in one location was the need of the region, hence, we partnered with best of the industry.
What can we look forward to from Lodha Xperia in 2019?
We are keen on sustaining the momentum that has been garnered over the past 2 years. Additionally, we are keen to explore different mediums that help us reach the maximum target audience.