As India is going through a major retail boom and with over 300 shopping malls coming up over the next three years, retail brands have come together to strengthen the Brand Owners Forum (BOF).
It is aimed to make sure that the composition of these malls results in a win-win situation to both the mall developers and the brand owners.
According to estimates, every major city in India will soon have several malls with larger cities like Delhi and Mumbai planning some 20 malls each.
It is also unlikely that every mall will be equally successful with analysts predicting that on an average only one out of three malls will succeed.
Key to the success of malls will be location, parking space, management, size and importantly, the tenant mix. For a consumer to have an enjoyable experience at a mall, it is important that all the favourite brands are available together. It is here that BOF fits in.
Said Uday Kumar, chairman, BOF, “It is a collaborative effort. We work closely with mall developers to understand them better and arrive at ways of participating in the mall for mutual benefit. Mall developers need a good collection of brands to make their malls successful and the brands need to be present in good retail environments with like-minded brands which make a retail venture successful.”
Brands from firms like Madura Garments, Arvind Brands, Indus League, Weekender, Nike, Levis, Hidesign and Himalaya are part of this initiative which is driving in best practices to improve business. BOF currently has over 20 members accounting for nearly 60-80 brands.
Strengthening BOF involves adding more members and acting as a clearing house for information on global best practices on retailing.
Many of the brands in the forum are close competitors but they have come together for mutual benefit. The members believe that it is in their interest to be together and hence providing a better choice to the end consumer, which in turn helps create a successful mall.
The mall developers on their part have also view this as a positive development as they can deal with the leading brands across a cross section of businesses through a single entity.
They can also finalise a whole set of brand tenants through a single exercise. In the process, mall developers will also get a collective feedback and reduced lead-time in finalisation deals with brand owners.
“Between the various brands owned by members of the forum, the retail space they occupy in any mall is over 30,000 sq feet. Considering that a typical mall has about 1.5 to 2 lakh sq feet of retail space, BOF can help significantly to provide a good brand mix in the mall. Our objective is to work closely with mall developers and provide them with a set of brands which will create a good connect with end consumers,” added Kumar.