Q What has the pandemic taught you about retail?
Looking at the business now, with five to six months of the pandemic behind us, we realise we need to make some changes to do with the pandemic, but with a long-term view. Of course, we need to make the shopping experience more comfortable—and technology plays a big role in that—and customise it. We have to include some online strategy, but additionally, we could look at options such as providing personal shoppers who can help you so you don’t have to keep touching things; they can be brought to you. Home delivery, curbside pick-up, we’re exploring all sorts of hybrid models within our retail space.
We understand that more than anything else, we have to stay fluid. What we do this month may be entirely different from what we have to do two months from now. We have to be able to use perceptions, collect customer feedback very quickly and respond to it. So, whether it means giving HNIs who live in the area a limousine pick-up or keep the mall open to just an exclusive group to shop for an hour, we are exploring options. Some of it works, some of it doesn’t. We’re getting fewer footfalls, but more meaningful ones. We’re generating far more sales from them, because they have come with the intention to shop. We have to learn to use that to our advantage.
We’re only allowing one customer per 100 sq ft of space at Palladium, so that automatically personalises the experience. We want to create an experience that sends you away feeling positive and comfortable.
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October 23, 2020