Courtesy: Palladium Mall/Instagram

Pooja Patel

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.
Gayatri Ruia, Development Director, Palladium Mall
Gayatri Ruia, Development Director, Palladium Mall
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.
UV Scanner at the entry gate
UV Scanner at the entry gate
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.
Sanitisation mats at the entry gate
Sanitisation mats at the entry gate
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.
Mandatory hand sanitising at the mall entrance
Mandatory hand sanitising at the mall entrance
Read: Is this how we will shop now? Burberry opens its first-ever ‘social retail store’ in China
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.

What kind of footfall are you expecting?
Unlike other cities where malls had already reopened last month, the initial couple of weeks showed low footfall and then a fillip later. However, in Mumbai, while everything else had opened but malls, we are confident that people with their enduring spirit are all set to get back to retail therapy and indulge in shopping. Hence, we believe malls will recover their footfalls, and business will be back to normal.
What is the mall doing to boost consumer sentiment?
More than anything else, the fact that all the stores are open, guests can relive and rejoice their shopping moments. End of Season Sale is also starting form this weekend, and this will provide another reason for many to grab the best deals and treat themselves to their favourite collections. We are sure that our guests will be back in the mall. We are pushing the message through digital, outdoor, print, SMS and Whatsapp marketing campaigns, showcasing our Healthy Shopper guidelines and the best on offer for all.
UV box to sanitise shopping bags after shopping, which is mandatory
UV box to sanitise shopping bags after shopping, which is mandatory
In the past, you had said that Gucci and Zara had been the best performing brands at Palladium Mall. Now that the mall has reopened, what kind of business/performance is expected?
In a few coming months, we expect them to reach pre-COVID business levels.
Read: Indian luxury leaders think that sales will pick up from now on, in the festive and wedding season

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here