Business Today

Indians flood malls to hang out, not buy

The mushrooming malls in the metros and smaller cities are attracting huge footfalls but most of the customers use these malls as hang out places because of their airconditioned eateries and multiplexes.

Anuradha Shukla   New Delhi     Last Updated: April 6, 2011  | 10:52 IST

The mushrooming malls in the metros and smaller cities are attracting huge footfalls but most of the customers use these malls as hang out places because of their airconditioned eateries and multiplexes and prefer to shop for consumer durables and luxury goods from markets outside. This trend has been revealed in a recent survey carried out by Track2realty, a real estate market tracker company.

"Seven out of 10 Indians with high disposal incomes go to shopping malls at least twice a month but donRs t buy the monthly stock of food and grocery, apparels or consumer durables over there," the survey said.

"About 88 per cent Indians who go to shopping malls either just hang out with friends at caf├ęs, food courts or go there for the purpose of watching a movie rather than actually shopping," the survey said. According to the survey, consumers cited bad shopping experience, poor customer service and poor after sales service as the reason for not buying at malls.

"About 47 per cent of those who avoid shopping at malls list poor quality of goods as the main reason, while 38 per cent blame poor customer and after sales response of the retailer in case the product is defective," the survey said.

Because of poor after sales service, difficulty in replacing defective items and big crowds, they prefer local kirana stores for buying the essential dailyuse items. For most of the respondents, shopping items in malls are mainly restricted to items like apparels.

Interestingly, most of the respondents (67 per cent) said that almost all the malls are similar and that is the reason, buyers fail to distinguish one mall from another in the same catchment area.

"About 74 per cent Indians suggest the developer should focus more on the basic amenities like parking, dedicated childrenRs s space and better customer care rather than making huge investments on glass facades, loud music and neon lights," the survey pointed out.

About 68 per cent of the shoppers said they are more comfortable at a shopping mall where they donRs t have a difficult time finding a parking space or a subway to go to the mall across the street.

"The Indian consumer wonRs t be lured by sheer glitz. Indian consumers do spend, provided there is a value proposition that the mall offers," the survey said. The survey was conducted across10 cities among working professionals, with a majority of them having double income. The sample was in the 24-40 years age group with a high disposable income.

Mail Today found that managers at various malls in the capital tended to agree with the findings of the survey. "We agree that most of the people are treating malls as a hang-out area instead of serious shopping and only 20 per cent of the footfalls are translated into actual sales and that holds true for most of the malls," said a senior management official from Select City Walk in Saket, South Delhi, who did not wished to be named.

Courtesy: Mail Today 

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