Value Shopping Evolution
Dubai Outlet Mall is the first ‘Value Shopping’ concept mall in the MENA region and is home to over 1,300 of the world’s top premium and luxury labels in 240 stores. Here, RLI sits down with Vishal Mahajan, Director of Dubai Outlet Mall to discuss the scheme’s expansion and how it has evolved in these unique times.
Since its launch in 2007, the Dubai Outlet Mall has been on a journey of awareness and understanding of the overall concept, among both the retailers and customers in the region. From its time of opening, the demographics of the location have changed dramatically with significant developments and increased population.
In order to satisfy the organic demand, the mall will open its expansion later this year which will provide an added and diverse offering alongside its main USP of being the ultimate value shopping destination.
To help cope with the differing requirements of the mall in times of Covid-19, the Dubai Outlet Mall has been taking various precautionary measures and steps since January last year when the pandemic was in its initial stage. Awareness communication, regular sanitisation, sterilisation and disinfectant protocols were adopted to limit, contain and curtail the spread of the virus.
“In these testing times we have maintained a very healthy percentage of opened shops, proving that for any brand, concept and business the Dubai Outlet Mall remains a venue for business and preferred choice for customers,” explains Vishal Mahajan, Director of Dubai Outlet Mall. “The mall has been almost close to pre-Covid-19 numbers in terms of business, attracting more resident customers while the travel restrictions restrict the inflow of tourists.”
The scheme is on the way to adding a significant footprint to its existing offer by adding almost double the size of its current footprint, leading the mall to become one of the largest in the outlet sector. The expansion of the mall will include the region’s first Megamarket (cash & carry) concept, a multiscreen cinema, varied food and beverage options and a number of big-box concepts in different categories are in the pipeline which will offer the customer a comprehensive shopping and entertainment experience.
Within the upcoming expansion, an added focus is being put on the food and beverage category with several restaurants, an additional food court of a different manner and several cafes. As customers spend an increased amount of time in the mall, this additional focus is to ensure a strong variety of healthy and wholesome cuisines are available.
“The customer has to be provided a comprehensive and convenient experience. The normal dwell time for a guest in an outlet environment is an extended one; hence the developer has to look into all aspects of the customer. The developer has to keep evolving and keep in check the requirements of the customers, and manage this in coordination with the store operator. The store operator also needs to look at a bigger picture and work together with the developer to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship,” explains Mahajan.
As the industry experiences a move from the ‘Mall to the All’, the Director feels that the focus has to be on delivering a superior and seamless customer experience with ease of shopping. Mahajan explains that customer service staff should be more available to help the customer and add to the experience, and that the digital elements open up many possibilities for the mall to understand the customer in a much better manner and provide the requirements in a more personalised way.
“We try to continuously evolve and achieve new standards whilst keeping our feet firmly on the ground. We regularly study the requirements of the customer and work very closely with the retailers to ensure the repeat visit of the customer. Our most important investment in these challenging times has been on our workforce. We aim to keep them motivated as we all pull together to achieve the mutual goals,” Mahajan says.
Dubai Outlet Mall was one of the first malls in the region to adopt social media and they are fully absorbed in creating the most engaging and informative content for their shoppers.
To keep the mall at the forefront of the outlet industry, the Dubai Outlet Mall keep themselves abreast of all the latest innovations, as is the requirement of their shoppers. They continue to work closely with local communities and adapt and evolve quickly to ensure the best interests of all customers is kept.
Dubai Outlet Mall has always led retail innovation through various propositions. In the upcoming expansion, a unique USP, a dynamic OMNI channel is planned to be released, providing yet another exclusive experience for both shoppers and retailers alike.
“While we were all facing tough times, we kept on building to offer more offerings and variety to our guests. The mall is growing organically and aims to provide a comprehensive and pleasant experience to its customers – both residents and visitors to the country in a significant manner,” explains Mahajan.
“The value focus remains the mainstay and with the healthy performance so far, we are looking to move forward in a positive way. The challenges and opportunities go hand-in-hand and putting an honest platform together for all parties to benefit, keeps us going further in our sincere efforts,” he concludes.
Dubai Outlet Mall welcomes
partnerships in this journey of Evolution.
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