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Reinventing Retail in Post- Covid Times

Torbit - February 20, 2022 - - 0 |

Suresh Singaravelu, ED & Head Retail and Muhammad Ali, COO Retail, Prestige Group

Covid has irrevocably altered people’s habits  and  lifestyles. We, at Prestige  are conscious of this transformation and are engaged in fine tuning our strategy accordingly.   In line with this change, we  are gearing up to give customers the best out of home experience ever through our ‘Brand Forum’ that is today the toast of the retail industry.

Retail is in our DNA and we attach great importance to it in our business portfolio. After 17 years, Brand Forum has come a long way, establishing 9 prime mall properties.. We have expanded our footprint beyond Bangalore  into other markets including Chennai, Hyderabad, Mangaluru, Mysuru, besides Rajasthan (Udaipur) Currently, we are developing 8 new malls , spanning 5msf in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Kochi under the name. Forum Next.

Forum was conceived to be an experience , not merely a place to buy goods. To us retail has never been just another asset class. We fully understand the business, business thoughts-both the art of satisfying customers and the science of making their experience mutually beneficial. Post- Covid keeping in view the changed behaviour and preferences of customers, we are reinventing retail in all our upcoming  Forum Next malls. We are creating a new generation of malls  whose transformative and personalised experience will redefine the whole concept of malls in India. Focusing on tier 1 cities for better returns, we aim to replace the assets we gave up , by creating bigger and better ones that are fully aligned with the needs of the retailer and consumer of tomorrow,

Forum Next will be fully mapped with the paradigm shift in consumer attitudes, expectations and behaviour that has occured after the pandemic. Products will see a larger proportion of offerings that address sustainability and customisation.   . We will give more priority to those brands which have more depth and choice in products that people can consume at home where they need to personally interface or come outside because it can not be provided at home. We will put them in zones of specialities, both to mitigate the risk of a customer missing out and to facilitate impulse buying.

Today, there is a complete disconnect between consumers’ requirements and mall offerings. Most malls have 80% of their offerings in fashion while on an average , an Indian consumer spends 20% of his disposable income on fashion. Our new malls will not have more than 40% of space dedicated to fashion. We will bring in new products and categories that are more relevant and interesting for customers. We will bring a sense of wellbeing to people and for that we have brought in social elements in the sense of creating wellbeing.

Forum Next will integrate the new age retailer and consumer through design and personalised experiences. Mall design elements will be more fluid, representing the ever-changing consumer mindset. Technology driven customer interactions are the other key facets of the Forum Next experience. Reinventing interactions on virtual platforms and integrating online and offline channels is imperative.

Our strategies will be devised scientifically using a data-backed approach where the key metrics will revolve around customer centricity and customer lifetime value. We are here to redefine and drive the future of the evolving retail industry by staying ahead of customer expectations.

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