Malls raked in the moolah this Durga Puja as the Calcutta High Court ordered for pandals to be no entry zones. Kolkata’s malls instead opened it’s doors late into the night, for people who wanted to step out during the festive season and have some fun.
“This time the mall remained open till 2 AM, unlike previous years where we had closed down by 12 midnight. We wanted Kolkata to enjoy the puja in full spirit and the mall took care of their food, adda or hangout needs. It’s South City Mall, Kolkatan’s Mall,” said Manmohan Bagree, Vice-President South City Projects.
The slow growth curve with months of lockdown and lower footfalls compared to previous year’s festive season gave way to Durga Puja weekend sales jumping threefolds at South City Mall.
Footfalls were 60% of what it was in the festive season of 2019, but five days of Durga Puja excluding the final day of the Dashami translated into sales of approximately Rs. 2.5 crore from F&B only at South City Mall. Also since September 1st, bars were allowed to operate as normal which was a big boost.
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“We at South City have been focusing a lot on F&B (Food and Beverage) since reopening and offering our patrons a safe and hygienic environment. We have seen a huge growth in the F&B sector at our mall and with the trend, we are confident of upward growth,” explained Bagree about the importance of the F&B sector in pushing up sales figures.
The Quest Mall near Park Circus is optimistic that with Diwali, Christmas, and New Years, sales will be around 75-80%, closer to normalcy.
Category-wise business achievement on year on year basis, for the month of June 2020 as compared to June 2019 in Quest Mall are:
Hyper – 70%
Luxury brands – 32%
Departmental store – 18%
F&B – 10%
Let’s take a look at the category-wise average monthly sales at Quest Mall which stands at:
Hyper – 12%
Luxury brands – 25%
Departmental store – 38%
F&B – 50%
“These are difficult times that the retail industry has faced. As far as Quest is concerned, it has been a little slow. However our sales figures have improved, it is all positive, people are coming to the mall. We have reached nearly 40% of footfalls. We expect in the next three months to get it as close to 75-80%. I do see a good amount of confidence coming back in everybody’s fruitful season at the mall,” said Sanjeev Mehra, Vice-President, Quest Mall.
Let’s not forget sanitization measures and social distancing norms, which malls haven’t forgotten too as footfalls gradually increase. “Safety is an important concern and we put technology to use to ensure we have the right amount of people in the mall. Ministry of Home Affairs(MHA) has allowed things to reopen, they themselves have relaxed all rules put in place. However, we have not relaxed our measures,” added Mehra.
Since Quest Mall opened it’s doors to Kolkatans on June 8th 2020 after months of lockdown, mall sales were at 29% as compared to June 2019. Since then, the average monthly sales growth trajectory from July to September 2020 is at 28%. Says a lot about the growing optimism of more people stepping out with caution amidst the festive cheer, spelling more good news for malls in the city of joy.