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Growing Jewellery Retail Through Malls

RETAIL JEWELLER – Interview with Devangshu Dutta, Chief Executive, Third Eyesight

May-June 2010

Retail Jeweller (RJ): How do you view the current scenario in the organized retail environment?

Devangshu Dutta (DD): While a mall operator may like to drive fixed rentals that are based on their footfall projections, this is not working in favour of retailers yet.

Most shopping centers / malls have not demonstrated yet that they can drive overall footfall consistently. More importantly, most malls are struggling to generate footfall that is relevant to merchandise retailers.

Currently consumers are still using malls as a location for an outing with friends and family; while food courts, and in some cases cinemas, are busy, retailers are yet to get the benefit of the footfall that most malls are generating.

RJ: The jewellery industry’s opinion is divided on the scope of retailing from malls. Comment

DD: In this context a company selling a product that is a considered high-value purchase, such as jewellery, may find a non-mall location to be more suited to its needs, regardless of the rental per square foot.

If jewellery retailers are looking at malls, they need to focus on those that are consistent with their own product mix and standing – not all jewellery retailers are equally premium in their positioning either.

Selecting the most appropriate locations within any mall will depend on how the customer flow has been designed.

RJ: In the long run do you see the growing influence of mall culture impacting jewellery retail?

DD: I believe that the presence of jewellery retailers in malls will grow gradually, as both jewellery retailers and malls become more sophisticated, and as malls become part of the mainstream shopping culture.

It is also important for a mall to be more consistent in their brand and store mix, and to be seen as location appropriate for a high-value, high-involvement purchase. For this upmarket malls, jewellery retailers and other high value retailers need to work closely together before and after a mall is launched to ensure that a consistent upmarket flavor is maintained throughout.

(To open a PDF copy of this interview, click here.)

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