Last week, the Ministry of Home Affairs announced that the malls in Maharashtra can operate form August 5. Yesterday, amidst heavy rains, several Mumbai malls reopened after a hiatus of almost 4 months. The Phoenix Mills Limited group that owns Palladium & High Street Phoenix (Lower Parel, Mumbai), Phoenix Marketcity (Kurla, Mumbai) and Phoenix Marketcity (Pune) too, opened their doors to the customers.
Gayatri Ruia, Development Director, Palladium Mall, Lower Parel, spoke to LuxeBook and gave us a lowdown on the SOPs followed, the consumer sentiment and the new normal of retail therapy in malls.
How many brands have opened their stores?
More than 80 per cent of our stores were operational on the very first day (yesterday). All luxury and high street fashion brands, electronics, skincare and other brands are already operational. To name a few – Burberry, Tod’s, Coach, Michael Kors, Emporio Armani, Massimo Dutti, Zara, H&M, Lifestyle, Dior, Estee Lauder, Clinique, Aptronix and Bose.
How many stores won’t be opening? Any reasons that these brands don’t want to operate?
There would hardly be any stores that will not open. A lot of the store staff members could not reach the venue due to the rains and hence few stores could not open. In the 4-month lockdown, many stores’ staff members had gone back to their native places and for them to return and resume work will take some time. Also, a few retailers are facing cash flow issues and have decided to reopen their stores later.
What are the safety/precautionary measures followed in the mall?
We have spent the past two months not only in learning about the best practices in sanitisation and social distancing measures in public places but also in training our teams and staff so that we are well prepared to welcome patrons and make them feel safe and secure in our premises.
Wearing masks is mandatory for everyone in the mall—retailer staff, mall staff and customers.
Social distancing needs to be maintained via floor markers, which are six feet apart, at all the locations where people are likely to queue up – in stores, at billing counters, customer enquiry desks, common areas and restrooms.
Sanitisation mats are placed at all the entrances to disinfect footwear.
Hand sanitisers are made available at the entrance, restrooms, in-stores as well as across multiple locations of the malls.
Verification of Aarogya Setu app at the entry gate is necessary and the staff also checks if a person has the quarantine stamp.
No manual frisking at the entrance.
The thermal detector in the DFMD (door frame metal detector) is installed for temperature checks.
UV scanning machines will UV sterilise all handbags at the entry gate.
Real-time customer density is counted to ensure crowd management.
Groups of more than four (except families) are not allowed to move in groups in the malls.
Only three customers or one family is allowed inside each elevator at all times, and lift buttons will be operated by attendants trained in sanitisation procedures.
UV boxes are installed to disinfect shopping bags post-shopping.
Kiosks to purchase masks and gloves are available inside the mall.
Wheelchairs are cleaned after every use.
Stores, common areas, restrooms, etc, are disinfected after mall shuts down, on a daily basis and at regular intervals to ensure that the highest level of hygiene standard is maintained.
All the areas that are frequently touched are disinfected at regular intervals through the day.
Shopping bags, trolleys and baskets are also pre sanitized
These safety and sanitisation mandates have also been shared with retailers.
What are the timings of the mall?
The mall will be open from 11 am to 7 pm and on all seven days of the week.
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It was an absolute pleasure to have the amazing @sandip_soparrkar visit #MarketcityMumbai on the very first day of reopening! Safety is priority at #MarketcityMumbai and Sandip enjoyed a relaxed unwinding experience along with his family. Check out a few glimpses. #SafetyMadePriority #UnlockHappiness