Thursday, March 30, 2006

Bangalore to have more Malls

Bangalore to have more Malls
New Indian Express

BANGALORE: As the city's malls are becoming hotspots for Bangalore's cool crowd, the managements of these mega one-stop arcades are in expansion mode and are planning big.

Rohit Saxena, assistant manager of IDEB Group, which owns Sigma Mall on Cunningham Road, says the company plans to open a mall on the outer ring road, near Marathahalli.

The new mall, to be appropriately christened Grand is due to come up by mid-2008, and will have a five star hotel and a software park.

Guruda Mall is not to be left behind. Says Chief Administrative officer I S K Pillai a second mall, Garuda Swagath Mall, will take shape in Jayanagar, with the hope of luring the residents of Jayanagar, JP Nagar and BTM Layout. The new Garuda project is expected to be open to the public by the end of 2007.

Lido is also coming up with a mall shortly. The UB Group is also planning a foray into the mall business with a venture in UB City near Mallya Road.

Forum has expansion plans and hopes to open two more malls in Whitefield, both expected to be ready by 2008.

One will be lcoated in Shantiniketan on Whitefield Road and the other will be mainly a factory outlet on Varthur Main Road.

The two new malls will have hyper markets and multiplexes too, says Mohammed Ali, Manager Mall Leasing and Tenant Relations, Forum.

With malls multiplying in the city and competition taking a steep climb, managements are also studying visitors and planning innovative features to attract people.

Visit the city's malls and you will notice that the food outlets and the multiplexes are the most popular. Because of this, malls are concentrating on these areas.

While Sigma Mall is considering the incorporation of its own multiplex Xenon Screens, Garuda Mall will open an outlet of the Mumbai-based Kobe restaurant, which is known for the use of special sauces in its dishes.

Those wishing to dine in this restaurant will have to make reservations three days in advance.

Talking of another exclusive feature, Pillai says Garuda Mall will soon have a three star hotel in its building.

The property will be opened in about 6 months and will specially cater to the business class.

Eva on the other hand stands out from other malls as it is exclusively for women and children, says Praveen, Group manager for crisis handling.

If Eva goes on to add a cinema it will bring in more people and the mall would lose its uniqueness.

As such Eva, which has a number of games for children, would rather concentrate on adding more recreation for children.

Another effort to attract people to the malls has been brand promotions, music programmes and shopping contests and shopping festivals.

According to Veena, Forum's Marketing Executive, the mall organises many a live band show and uses its promotional space for product launches, product promotions and awareness programmes.

Forum also organises The Forum festival during its lean season. Pillai talks of the promos they organise on weekends and the Garuda fest that began on Ayudha Pooja and went on till New Year.


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