The mall encompasses a variety of retail outlets featuring different brands, apparel, food court, games, and movie halls and is rated as the biggest shopping centre in Andhra Pradesh.
In an exclusive interaction with Indiaretailing, Machani Gangadhar Gopala Krishna, Joint Managing Director, Felicity Mall, talks about the paradigm shift in the retail real estate industry in the pre and post COVID era.
How effective and fruitful the year 2021 has been from your shopping centre perspective?
The entire pandemic period has been quite challenging for the shopping mall industry and Felicity Mall was no different. FEC was the first category to witness a quick recovery as soon as mall reopened after the lockdown. As the situation improved, despite restrictions and other guidelines, other segments also reported business and recovery. After the second wave, the malls were better prepared and as consumer awareness has also increased, things started changing in a positive manner.
What were the key highlights and achievements of the mall in 2021?
The F&B was the first segment to witness overwhelming response and hence were the first one to post recovery. The food court and the restaurants even recorded highest footfall in a single day. Getting good footfall on regular basis was the key highlight for our mall.
Highlight the key implementations done in the consumer experience and marketing recently?
Consumer Experience: As far as consumer experience is concerned, we gave priority to the safety of the consumers. We initiated programs, SOPs and services for quick delivery. All retail outlets in the mall were also opened for the visitors.
Marketing Initiatives: Even in the time of the lockdown and during the second wave, we were open and connected with our patrons on social media and by other marketing initiatives. We were open with essential services and delivery options and promoted in such a way that the consumers received everything as per their demand and requirement.
Tell us about the recovery level of the shopping centre on grounds of revenue and footfalls?
Revenue: At Felicity Mall, there was a significant increment of 54 % in YoY turnovers.
Footfalls: The visitor response has also been satisfactory. The footfall in the mall has increased by 40.3 %. We are very fortunate that the footfall in mall has also touched the 2019 numbers.
The numbers mentioned above are without cinema having 100 % functionality as well as restricted operations, which indeed can be rated as a great turnout.
Tell us about the new trends witnessed and performance level of different categories of the mall?
Fashion (Apparel and accessories) – The apparel and the accessories witnessed a very difficult phase during the first and second wave. To regain momentum, the brands had to alter the EOSS trend. The segment saw late recovery but gained momentum in the later half.
Food Service – Food service and F&B was the best sector in terms of revenue and growth in the pandemic. Due to the online orders and delivery service, we reached out to maximum customers in this period. As soon as restrictions were lifted, customers started coming to the restaurants and other food outlets in the mall in good numbers. The protocols were followed, and visitors were happy with the mall service.
Entertainment and FEC- These segments were the first to close and last to reopen during the period. As we speak, the cinemas still have some restrictions to follow, but we are getting good response from the patrons. The segment is in the recovery mode. People are finally getting to watch their favourite movies on the large screens, and it is a very positive news for the industry.
Electronics – The electronics segment saw a good response during the pandemic, as everyone was working from home. It resulted in sale of laptops, internet devices, mobiles, and gadgets in large number.
Tell us about the new brands launched in the shopping mall in 2021?
Pizza Hut, Junior Kuppanna Restaurant and VOI Jeans were some of the new brands which opened their store in the Felicity Mall. The market is recovering, and we are hopeful of opening new stores in the coming months.
From your mall perspective, tell us about the preparations to deal with the pandemic amidst the threat of new wave and restrictions?
As the larger population is now vaccinated and are getting their booster dose also done, the panic situation is gone. Everyone is aware of the situations and consumers have also become smarter. We hope there is no new wave but we have our protocols to follow and We will keep following them. Even if there is a new wave, we anticipate the timing would be short and mild. The shopping behaviour may change and we will see some new trends in the coming months.
What are your expectations from 2022? Is there an expansion plan in the pipeline?
2022 will be a bounce back time for the entire retail fraternity, including us. As things are getting normal, the recovery numbers will go up. We anticipate market to explode with impulsive buying and this trend would continue for another 2 years. As of now, we do not have expansion plans but to ensure the current facility comes out strong post pandemic.