Santa Claus gave a needed respite for demonetisation-hit malls and retailers. Across the country, these saw record footfall and sales during the Christmas weekend, with crowds up by as much as 50% in many.
The reason for great numbers was multifold —Christmas falling on Sunday, many retailers advancing their end-season sales and the Aamir Khan movie, Dangal, releasing on the weekend. “I think it is a combo effect of Christmas on a Sunday and Dangal.
People shop on Christmas and Sundays. This time, both came together,” said Anupam T, vice-president at Oberoi Mall here, which saw 25% more footfalls from the year-before period.
DLF’s Mall of India in Noida saw 220,000 people walking in over the weekend, 50% higher than the normal weekend number. “Our malls broke all records. A great movie release, good offers from brands and our marketing initiatives did the trick,” said Pushpa Bector, executive vice-president at DLF Utilities. She said DLF’s other malls in Delhi (Vasant Vihar, Saket) saw a 25-30% growth in footfall.
“Some of the brands have done their best sales over the weekend,” she added. Retailers and malls lost 25-30% in sales over the first two weeks since demonetisation was announced.
Said Rajendra Kalkar, president, west, at Phoenix Mills: “It is one of the best Christmases we had in recent years across our malls in Mumbai, Pune, Lucknow and Bareilly.” He said there was a 30% growth in footfall, cinema occupancy and four-wheeler drive-ins.
However, Vasant Kumar, executive director at the Landmark group-owned Max chain, said the high footfalls were mainly due to heavy discounting and early end of season sales (EOSS).
“Till last year, EOSS of brands used to start only during the new year. This year, many brands started it before Christmas. However, Max is starting its EOSS on the 28th of this month, as planned,” he added.