Sunday, 7 August 2016

The Mall Culture: An extravagant treat for all

The world constantly goes through a process of change. That is, essentially the law of nature. Cultural, economic and social changes take place through varied strategies within the countries. And one such change that the Indian population has embraced with enthusiasm is the mall culture. And it has grown at an incredible pace. There’s no longer the idea of being stuck at homes on a weekend. Why? Because we have malls at every nook and corner, at least in Delhi and NCR, thanks to the retail revolution that has taken the nation by storm. Mushrooming of malls is a clear indication that the wave of consumerism is arriving steady and fast.

Crowded streets, traffic congestion and a mob of people flooding towards a chic looking building is a popularly visible scenario, every weekend. The cosmopolitan change in our attitudes has led to this inclination towards malls. And, why not? Malls with their PVC, plastic, designer glass structures are very contemporary and secular in nature, complemented by their international appeal which magnetizes people of all ages. Our perception pertaining to shopping has completely changed. A congenial atmosphere, perfect air conditioning, world class environment, basic amenities, exotic cuisines, international brands, is what the malls aspire to provide under one roof. Moreover, the sales and bargain deals, attractive prizes, and schemes are the success formulae, shopkeepers are trying to cash in, on consumers which have made malls a mega hit amongst the metro crowd, putting fuel to their ever increasing demand for a better living. They have transformed the shopping experience from a need-driven activity to a leisure time entertainment.

By acting as a single point destination for our varied requirements, the malls have somehow managed to attract and fascinate the population towards the escalating shrines of consumerism. Studies reveal that when a shopper has a planned list, there is a difference between the list and the products bought – reasons for which can be attributed to the factors in the store. In the malls, along with the air-conditioned shopping ambience, quality products, service, convenience and comfort, consumers are offered in-house parking, coffee shops, entertainment in multiplexes, gaming facilities, play areas for children and food courts; which have transformed the mere activity of shopping, movie-watching or dining, to an experiential, lifestyle activity.

A cool and refreshing environment has become a prerequisite nowadays. In that sense, malls do put a smile on the face of shoppers. It is non-crucial whether a purchase is made or not, entry into the mall has given the right to courtesy. It has become the USP of the malls as the window shopper of today is the prospective customer of tomorrow.  In times to come, malls will become more of a norm than an exception. I don’t think that these novel structures will remain inhibited for the metropolitan cities, there will be more affordable, egalitarian malls catering to the needs of the local demographic. However, with the consumer becoming more and more price conscious and less sentimental towards specific buying preferences, there have been cases wherein the malls which are opened with great fanfare and glitzy stores don’t seem to capture the required footfall, resembling an abandoned warehouse after a period of time. Also, there is still a large segment of our population that prefers to shop in open markets, which is something that will not be changing soon.

Successful malls are those that will adjust its mall culture with the consumer sensitiveness and preferences. Managing consumer attitude and innovation are the keys to staying afloat amid competition. Indubitably, malls have enlarged social fabric, cultural mixture, and retail feasibility. Malls- with a bouquet of value propositions like value for time, value for the quality, value for experience, value for money is boosting India in becoming a 'SHINING STAR of GLOBAL RETAIL'.

Written by Chhavi Minhas
“A free spirit, dreamer and admirer of this puzzle called life”

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