Safely unlocking Indian Malls: Offline retail therapy is back

We are open for offline Retail Therapy: Unlocking Indian Malls

Coronavirus has left a significant impact on all the industries, especially the malls. Now with unlocking happening in various parts of the country, it becomes mandatory for all the retailers to take safe and adequate measures to regain the lost customer segment.

Consumers are becoming more and more tech-savvy, making the graph shift toward a digital platform. They are avoiding personal physical contact to a large extent. Under such circumstances, brands have to come together to regain the lost customer trust and encourage safe shopping.

The experience that any consumer will now undergo has to be 10X times better than what it was earlier. Malls are open and are implementing various safeguarding measures to abide by the social distancing norms.

In such times, it becomes the people’s responsibility to support and follow all the rules prescribed by the management teams before entering the mall premises. Installation of the Arogya Setu App in each device is the first ordinance, as are masks, and gloves.

We are open for offline Retail Therapy: Unlocking Indian Malls
We are open for offline Retail Therapy: Unlocking Indian Malls

Here is how we are unlocking Indian malls, safely:

Entrance:

  • Malls have put a lot of measures in place right from setting up thermal scanners at all entry points, and the use of sanitizer spray equipped doors to ensure the safety and security of patrons.
  • Other measures include taking the general public’s temperature, making their way into the mall, and use of sanitization mat to disinfect the customer footwear.
  • Placing informative signs about COVID-19 right in the corridors and placing hand sanitizers coupled with keeping a check on the number of people entering the Mall, malls are surely putting their best step forward to encourage footfalls.

Floor & restroom:

  • Regularly disinfecting stairs, common area door handles elevator buttons, handrails. Ensuring that the cleaning staff uses medical masks and gloves with minimizing the total number of staff working at the same time. 
  • Prohibiting collective activities and promotions in the Mall. Following social distancing and keeping a distance from one another.
  • Encouraging more and more sensor-based washbasin and soap dispensers in the washroom along with no manual opening and closing of restroom doors.

Store level:

  • Most clothing stores have initiated a “no-touch policy” where the customers will not be allowed to touch the rack. An attendant will pull the merchandise out for him/her.
  • Encouraging customers to use the trial room as quickly as possible, post which the merchandize and the trial room is adequately sanitized.
  • Hanging posters related to COVID measures into the store. Avoiding cash and encouraging contactless payment. Some brands have prohibited the trial of cosmetic products and perfumes.
  • For example, at Vero Moda, the tried clothes are sanitized with stream jiffy iron, after which they are kept in an “isolation room” for one day before the clothes are sent back on the rack. Adidas and Calvin Klein are following the same strategy.
  • However, Adidas allows touching the merchandise after wearing fresh gloves available at the entry of the store.
  • Shoes and footwear stores have accepted the risk and given thumbs up to the trial policy. They are not refraining the customers from wearing the shoe before buying. At Venus Steps and Woods in Saket Mall, any footwear tried is sanitized and kept for few hours in a separate room. 
  • Make-up and cosmetics stores have also adopted the “no trial policy” to safeguard and ensure the safety and security of the walk-ins into the Mall.

No matter how strong the norms, it becomes the responsibility of every individual, right after they leave their house to take all the remedial measures and ensure their safety and of the people in their surroundings.


This post is written by Nimisha Somani (LinkedIn), a strong and independent woman creating content to inspire others. She is presently working as a leaser with K Raheja Group Inorbit Malls Private Limited, BKC Mumbai.

The views presented in the article represent those of the writer. To submit your article, write to us here.


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