Home >Industry >Retail >After a long lull, malls see uptick in footfalls
People wearing masks walk with shopping bags inside a mall as India eases lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (Reuters)
People wearing masks walk with shopping bags inside a mall as India eases lockdown restrictions that were imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus disease (Reuters)

After a long lull, malls see uptick in footfalls

  • Footfall in malls across the India’s top metro cities stood at 30% compared to pre-covid levels.
  • While people still fear stepping out, footfall and sales in smaller cities were more encouraging.

NEW DELHI : Malls in parts of the country are seeing an increase in footfall as consumer mobility increases with India’s unlocking and shoppers step out to buy casual wear, electronics and fitness goods. However, several mall operators said that with cinemas remaining shut, full recovery could take time.

Footfall in malls across the top metros was 30% of pre-covid levels, according to estimates by Susil S. Dungarwal, chief mall mechanic at Beyond Squarefeet, a mall management and advisory firm. People are still fearful of stepping out, but footfall and sales were more encouraging in smaller cities, he said.

“We have seen an encouraging rebound in consumption and footfalls week-on-week across all our malls. Categories such as electronics have seen a high level of consumption. It’s anywhere between 78% and 80% of last year and at some locations has surpassed those levels. Jewellery, watches, accessories almost average about 60% of last year’s sales. Home accessories started off very strong but are now stable at 45-50% of last year sales," said Rajendra Kalkar, president and full time director of the west region at The Phoenix Mills Ltd, which covers its malls in Lower Parel and Kurla in Mumbai and in Pune.

“With offices opening steadily, we expect the fashion and footwear category to gain momentum as well as we inch towards the festive season. The same-store sales for August is at 50% of last year, after taking out the non-permissible activities such as food and beverages," Kalkar said.

Phoenix is waiting for local authorities to allow food courts to operate as these are a big draw for customers.

Malls were allowed to open fairly late and at different times. Delhi and Haryana allowed malls to open in early June, while Maharashtra, with its rising cases, allowed malls to open only last month. In Tamil Nadu, malls reopened on 30 August.

“Footfall and consumption are gradually picking up week on week basis. The footfall in tier II cities where our malls are present has ramped up to 55-60% and in metro cities such as Mumbai it has reached 30-35%," said Naviin Ibhrampurkar, head of marketing and corporate communications, Inorbit Malls, which is part of K. Raheja Corp.

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