Herald: Service, customer loyalty key to success for malls in Goa

Service, customer loyalty key to success for malls in Goa

16 Jan 2016 05:55am IST
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16 Jan 2016 05:55am IST
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Keeping up to the standards of pan India mall culture, Goa will see at least three new malls, if not more, in the near future. While Caculo Mall leads the segment, new malls at Porvorim and two in Vasco are gearing up to grab the share of the pie. Large amount of space is being used to attract buyers and visitors. VIKANT SAHAY finds out how mall operators intend to garner and retain their customer base

Even as the shopping area shrinks to virtually five inches, ie mobile online shopping, Goa is blazing ahead with expansion of space in the comfort of malls. As of now, the only mall available for the Goans is Caculo Mall at Panjim which is nearly five years old. However, the competition between the upcoming malls in Goa (one at Porvorim and two others at Vasco) will lead to stiff competition among mall operators and owners to retain their customer base. All mall operators believe that customer loyalty will play a major role for the success.

With population of hardly 15 lakh in one of the smallest State in the country and about 30 per cent of mall goers in Goa, the pie is shrinking. However, the area in which the malls are spreading themselves is growing. 

While, Caculo which operates in the expanse of 1,33,000 square feet, the upcoming Mall de Goa (Jai Bhuvan Builders) will operate at 1,80,000 square feet and Pehli (Vasco’s first Mall by Fashid of Shravan & Krishan Group who are the master franchisee of MAX) which is likely to come up by August this year, will operate in 9000 square feet area. At least three mall operators (of which two of them are opening shortly) do not believe that upcoming players will affect their customer base.

Observing and surveying the buyer sentiments and behavioral moods the vice president and head of Mall and New Ventures of Caculo Group, Shashank Mahatme is unperturbed by the fact that very soon the Mall de Goa at Porvorim will be thrown open to the public which will eventually become the largest mall in Goa. “We welcome healthy competition as it is good for the business as well as the customers. So many malls have opened in the past and shut because they could not sustain the everchanging dynamics of this business. A proper mix of stores, with both branded and local are a must for the customers and what matters most is the personal touch where one is greeted by saying -- Welcome Patrao,” Mr Mahatme told Herald.

Director, Marketing of Mall de Goa, Porvorim, Bhuvanish S Sheth said, “we are the destination mall and our clientele will be from all over Goa. I am strongly of the view that both ours as well as Caculo will continue to do well as our customer base is different. Since we are closer to the beaches in North Goa we expect that 40 per cent of our customers will be tourists who may be interested in entertainment (Inox cinema) and fine dining. Goa is rich in food and berverage culture and we are taking utmost care in spreading out the varieties before our customers as we are confident that the biggest puller in a mall has to be entertainment, food and retail stores.” Mall de Goa is expected to be fully operational and open for the public in a couple of months. 

Mall de Goa is in the process of getting McDonald in Goa and has roped-in major brands like Shoppers Stop, Big Bazaar, Marks & Spencers etc, alongwith local Goan brands. For fine dining, the Porvorim mall will have Ritz Classic, Yellow Chilli and multi-cuisine food court which ranges from Lebanese to Indian cuisine. 

Partner in Fashid, Akhil Chadha said that, “We will be launching our first mall at Vasco by August this year which is named as Pehli. Our clientele base is for the age group of 18 to 35, as Max which has launched 150 stores across 45 cities in India has a target of getting the primarily contemporary middle class families and young working couples. Vasco as primary catchment has GSL, MPT and Defence Personnel. BITS Pilani and Verna Industrial Estate are secondary catchment areas.”

Mr Chadha added that MAX (Unit of Lifestyle International Pvt Ltd) owned by Landmark Group, Dubai has pioneered the fashion industry worldwide in value fashion retailing and most of the merchandise in MAX store is of the value of below Rs 1000. 

Buzz is also around that chairman and managing director of NRB Group, Narayan R Bandekar will also be foraying into the mall business at Vasco very soon.

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