Mauritius | Trading

May 01, 2013

Malls: Success Not Always to Come

Shopping takes on a new dimension in Mauritius, especially malls. In recent years, more than a dozen of these centers have been built in the four corners of the island. However, some of this modern jewelry does not have the expected success.

Malls mushrooming in Mauritius. Formerly Le Caudan Waterfront, Port Louis, and Phoenix Mall were among the only hosted several brands under one roof. Today, several shopping centers have emerged, some of the most sophisticated and modern than others. However, some of them do not know the long-awaited success. The Defi Media has toured most prominent shopping centers. Conclusion: The popularity is a very ephemeral gives.

Direction north of the island where two shopping centers in modern concept have recently emerged. First observation: in spite of a modern framework for the shopping, the mall is often planted in a desert-like setting.

The first mall we visit seems not spared by the economic crisis. A fact confirmed by Jed M., chef in a restaurant. "It is true that many customers prefer to eat in the 'food' courts. But each restaurant to its own customers from its gastronomic identity. However, it is necessary to find new flavors to be the expectations of our customers. The foodservice market is increasingly competitive, it is necessary to innovate. However, the restoration in a mall is risky because there is some uncertainty as to the profitability, "he argues.

Cap now on the high Plains Wilhems. Again, the situation seems to be the same. Midweek, shops and stalls do not welcome many visitors. However, the situation would be different this weekend. But can we rely on appearances? Visit a shopping center became a hobby or a distraction for Mauritians.

It does not mean they put hands in their pockets. This is what confirms Ameera P. seller in high-end jewelry. "Customers are increasingly rare. The malls are home to thousands of visitors, but they are content to window-shop. We also note that the tourists make more purchases. They do not hesitate to spend on accessories and jewelry so that Mauritians are sometimes reluctant. The buying trend evolves only during promotional periods tional, " he says. In addition, many in-signboards invest in marketing strategies including animations and advertisements mass.

Once concentrated in urban areas, many commercial spaces were opened in rural areas. Some of them are struggling to get customers. Our story takes us to a village in the East. Its brand new shopping center does not seem to be as popular. Mr. Raj, a resident of East gives us his opinion. "People are creatures of habit. They shop the market and shops in the area. Lately, all in search of bargains where the success of stores whose products are half price, "he concludes it is.

Ashwin Chinnayya, Du Flacq Shopping Mall: "Mauritians eat differently"

Mauritius knows the boom in shopping malls since 2005. The Director General of Flacq Shopping Mall believes that the purchasing power of Mauritians was only slightly affected by the economic crisis. "About 75% of Mauritians visiting malls sheer necessity, for their need for food and clothing. They benefit, however, at the same time other signs of the mall. Instead of going elsewhere, they prefer lunch or dinner with family and fun in a festive atmosphere. It is true that Mauritians tend to spend differently during the economic crisis, "he says.

According to our interlocutor signs malls are more sales during holiday periods. "There are also different categories of customers in Mauritius. For example, those of the middle class regularly visit malls for their monthly purchases. The number of tourists has increased Flacq and this contributes significantly to profitability, "he says.

However, Ashwin Chinnayya confirms the analysis of the economist regarding the disparity between supply and demand. "We are ready to meet the challenges to make the most attractive commercial offer. One of our strategies, we must rework 'into mix' to make a more attractive to our customers shopping experience. Be present at sponsorship, street markets and entertainment is also planned to ensure a good customer, "he says.

Eric Ng, economist: "The proposition exceeds demand"

> What are the economic factors to consider before setting up a mall?

A good analysis of the economic situation is important before implementing such a project. We must first consider the growth rate and its impact on household consumption. Developers must consider the purchasing power especially the middle class.

To do so, data from Statistics Mauritius are very useful. It is also important to target the part of the budget that Mauritians spend additional expenses. In general, the average salary of a household is Rs 20,000 of which 30% is spent on food. Moreover, the unemployment rate also has an impact on the purchasing power and consumption. A high unemployment rate is equivalent to a decrease in consumption. Developers must analyze the economic situation before building a mall.

> Do you think that such factors were considered in Mauritius?

I believe that economic factors were not taken into consideration. It is clear that malls are primarily real estate projects. Several centers have been built for the simple reason to give more value to land in the area. The number of commercial built in Mauritius in recent years centers exceeds demand. To illustrate this, one example is Singapore that has five times more people than Mauritius. However, the number of shopping centers is lower. In Mauritius, there is a risk of market saturation shopping centers in specific locations such as in high-Plaines Wilhems.

> If you consider the effects of the economic crisis, what is the future of shopping centers?

We can keep an optimistic eye on the future of shopping centers. We are currently witnessing a change of habit in Mauritius. Shopping in a mall has become a new trend. However, it is important that developers consider some factors before implementing projects. Build malls here and there is not a good idea. However, we must diversify the market geographically. For example, it would be smarter to build a shopping center in the south of the island where there is very little development.

Alix Hernvann, De Bagatelle-Mall of Mauritius: "The expenses are streamlined"

Director of Marketing at Bagatelle think the economic crisis is affecting the purchasing power of Mauritians. Under these conditions, consumer spending is primarily rationalized purchases "leisure" as going to the movies, restaurants or shopping excluding food stores. "Despite these unfavorable conditions, we find that the number of visitors to Bagatelle increases compared to last year and sales signs progress. The amount of requests we receive for potential rental stores shows that, despite a decline in growth, the market is still very dynamic, "says our interlocutor.

Alix Hernvann considers, however, that the main objectives of a shopping center is to bring visitors, encouraging them to spend and bring them back. "Faced with a growing supply and a relatively equal market, we need to listen to our customers to understand and anticipate their needs. It is essential to be able to offer suitable to the demand of the population but also allow visitors to enjoy a genuine experience during their visit. Mauritians love to spend time in malls and shopping culture develops gradually. At Bagatelle, we have two quite distinct types of visitors: those who come to walk and buy impulse and those who come specifically to buy, "she says

Corine Robert, De Grand Baie La Croisette: "The consumer is considering its budget"

Corine Robert believes that the current situation has changed the behavior of local consumers and the tourist. However, she emphasizes that Grand Bay La Croisette not have another year of existence, it is impossible to compare the attendance at other statistics. "The consumer is considering its budget before making a purchase," she advance. Our interlocutor also focuses on the development of a series of activities and services that complement the commercial offer. "We have more than 115 shops and 25 food outlets but it is up to us to offer a unique experience for our visitors.

Mauritians are more likely to travel, discover other lifestyles. They are now accustomed to the commercial supply concentrated in one place. This saves invaluable time. The public takes time to discover the signs but we also noticed that our visitors are organized according to their needs. In terms of the same family, women can go to the spa and shopping while the men will be interested in the hi-tech stores or can go to the movies before everyone is not found around a lunch, "says Robert Corine.

 

 

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