Webinar: New Playbook for Malls

IFCCI’s Retail Committee organised a webinar on “New Playbook for Malls" in conversation with Ms.Pushpa Bector,Executive Director,DLF Retail on Oct 29

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Mrs. Payal S. Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI opened the session and welcomed our speaker and participants followed by guest introductory remarks by Mrs. Shweta Pahuja, Head- Business Support Services, IFCCI.

Mr. François Arpels, Founder- ‘Rise’ In and ‘Brands and Beyond’ and Chairman- IFCCI retail Committee and Ms. Pushpa Bector, Executive Director- DLF Retail and Business Head- Luxury and Shopping Malls, DLF DPSL, kick started the conversation with some good news in terms of the initiatives by DLF which reopened its doors to customers on 16th June. DLF Emporio, Promenade and Chanakya were the first malls to take the national lead in bringing back customers to malls. The increasing footfall was due to the strict SOPs put in place at the DLF properties as well as the efficient use of technology at these malls such as thermal cameras, handheld sanitisation etc.

Our Committee Chairman further inquired about the collaborative synergies that DLF foresees with online shopping which is currently a major driver of the market today and about malls leveraging digital with physical stores. Ms. Bector explained that Omnichannel retailing started at DLF almost 18 months ago.

DLF also invested in the unified app called ‘DLF Malls Lookout’. Through this app, customers get a unique experience of getting connected to a concierge via WhatsApp and can interact with the ‘Personal Shopper’ who is a well-known stylist with whom customers can chat, engage in video calls etc to purchase online without physically coming to Emporio and enjoy thier unique shopping experience. People use this service in order to pre-plan their shopping. DLF also has a tie-up with Dunzo.

Next point of discussion was how DLF is evolving the revenue model for tenants to capture digital revenue through DLF’s tech innovations. Ms. Bector continued by explaining that DLF has a revenue of minimum guarantee or revenue share whichever is higher with their tenants. Whether customers order from the app of a particular brand or through DLF; the percentage share of sales proceeds are directed towards DLF. ‘Lookout 3.0’ with a much better AI is soon going to be launched to further enhance shopping experience. 

Mr. Arpels further asked on the possibility of conducting outdoor events like yoga classes/movie hosting and the other innovative services that DLF plans to launch. Ms. Bector mentioned that DLF is soon going to have curated organic market/wellness zones with maximum capacity of 50 people keeping in mind the social distancing norms. DLF will become more phygital to reach out to a large customer base.

Talking about the challenges during these COVID-19 times, Ms. Bector said that if the total footfall crosses a certain limit of acceptance in a mall, they shut down the mall gates which ultimately limits the number of people inside the mall. Secondly, in the food and beverage section of a mall, only 50% of the seats are allowed to be occupied. 

Lastly to conclude, Ms. Bector seemed very optimistic of the festive season which is around the corner. She explained that demand for formal/occasion wear, luxury & premium goods as well as home decor is on the increase in comparison to last quarter.

The webinar was attended by 48 participants and involved a Q&A Session with the participants.

The session was concluded by Mr. Satyen Momaya, CEO, Celio and Vice Chairman, IFCCI Retail Committee who shared the closing remarks and thanked our guest speaker and the participants.

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