Experiential Retail: Driving Indian Retail Growth

As consumers seek a healthy retail experience and entertainment, experiential retail is gaining momentum across India. Creating immersive experiences to engage all five senses is the hallmark of experiential retail.

A report from ICRA shows strong improvement in shopping center operational metrics after the second wave of Covid-19 in August 2021. It also predicted that shopping center footfall would reach pre-Covid levels in the third quarter of the year. 23. As experience becomes increasingly important in bridging the retailer-to-consumer divide, retailers are reassessing their strategies to diversify their portfolios and expand their footprint in cities. Hence, mall developers in India are gearing up to deliver a complete branded experience to customers upon entering any store.

Shopping center developers have realized that customer engagement is key to surviving in the competitive retail environment. Thus, they innovate and adapt to emerging trends to create an indelible shopping experience for consumers. For example, retail spaces focus on providing phygital experiences (a mix of physical experience and digital environment) to entertain and engage consumers. Additionally, themed malls are becoming increasingly popular due to their stunning exteriors, ornate details, and beautiful lush landscaping.

Jatin Goel, Director, Omaxe Ltd, says: “Experiential retail is the need of the hour as people look forward to retail spaces that deliver lasting impressions. At Omaxe, we strive to create retail developments that are interactive, dynamic and geared towards meeting new age consumer demand. Additionally, our goal is to help brands stay relevant in the competitive retail environment. »

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Particular attention is now paid to customer engagement and omnichannel approaches in the retail sector. Additionally, sustainable shopping malls are currently leading the way, with shopping mall owners implementing more environmental sustainability measures for the well-being of visitors as well as the community. Commercial real estate today emphasizes an integrated luxury approach to appeal to consumers’ senses with exclusive amenities to keep them engaged.

Keeping visitors entertained and entertained is crucial for shopping malls to attract and retain visitors. Thus, shopping malls are also introducing new-age entertainment elements to win the hearts of the masses. With pop-up stores and kiosks, customers have the chance to experience a sense of delight and surprise.

Abhishek Trehan, Executive Director of Trehan Iris, said, “The retail industry is witnessing a significant shift from basic shopping centers to experience centers. The idea of ​​going out to shop or buy goods is already challenged by online stores that offer convenience, so people need to be motivated enough to plan an outing for a fuller experience. Centers should provide space for a neighboring community, a place to gather with friends and family to rejoice. »

“In our malls, for example, we strive to offer new experiences to visitors through outdoor green spaces, excellent design and inspiring works of art. In addition to offering a great mix of retail, dining and entertainment, we host activity-based fitness events, live music, sports screenings, open mics and event-related engagements. children in addition to simple festive activations. The goal is to retain Iris Broadway as the center of choice for our immediate neighborhood and beyond,” he adds.

Another report from CBRE reveals that retailers leased one million square feet in malls and main streets in major cities in April-June, as 2022 is likely to see a record number of rentals. Additionally, due to pent-up demand, shopping centers are also expected to generate 30% more rental income this fiscal year compared to last year. Shopping malls nowadays also focus on personalization in all retail stores to drive traffic and improve footfall. For this, showrooms with personalized designs are developed to offer customers an unforgettable shopping experience around their stores.

Shibu Philips, Director of Shopping Malls, Lulu Group India, said: “As we welcome the new normal, the way retailers traditionally interact with customers is undergoing a paradigm shift. Conscientious consumers are now looking for a healthy retail experience where utility and value are intertwined. In a world where avid consumers have nearly limitless choices, Indian retail players are now looking to provide their customers with a complete end-to-end brand experience. This gave rise to experiential retail across the country, in which the consumer indulges in a new, immersive experience.

“By stimulating the five senses, the consumer experience is exponentially enhanced. As a hallmark of experiential retail, the retail experience is becoming increasingly important in bridging the retailer-consumer gap. Savvy retailers are now reassessing their strategies to diversify their portfolios and expand their presence in cities. Therefore, it stands to reason that experiential retail will be driving the growth of Indian retail in the perceptible future,” he adds.

Mall developers are also equipping showrooms with AR and VR technology to create an immersive experience for visitors. VR mirrors, interactive storefronts and immersive displays are becoming increasingly popular with shoppers.

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