Mall mania came up in Gurgaon with a bang! The maximum number of Malls came up on M.G. Road Gurgaon. I remember Big Bazaar being touted as a mall which provided everything from clothes to electronics. Like all things which start with a bang and end up in a fizzle, the footfall in many malls began to peter away! Initially, the malls were thronged with people who were just curious about the whole concept. The ambiance of the Malls, the Glitz, the fashion parade, the packaged goods, the neon lights, the offers, and the air-conditioning might not have been a lasting attraction! One of the first malls to go was Arcus. Arcus sold hardware, kitchen items and electronics. I bought my whirpool Microwave from Arcus and got a hand-blender free! Arcus shifted to M.G.Road, but soon had to down shutters because they were not able to break even! A large number of malls cater to the discerning people who have the money to spend.These malls have outlets which sell imported watches, perfumes, clothes, and other accessories which few can afford.
When Gurgaon turned into the Millennium City of India, it was denuded of its green cover, lakes, forests, marshes, and ponds were quickly swallowed up by land-developers. Gone are the days when families went to Sultanpur Bird Sanctuary, or Damdama Lake. Today families go to the Malls on weekends. The advantage is that they can shop and then have food in the food courts.Added to all this is the fact that they don’t have to face power-cuts, the Air-Conditioning is always on, and they can do lots of window shopping gloat over the latest gadgets, jewellery, and clothes. The Malls become an even greater magnet during festivals. You get “discounts,” offers and what not! The concept of Hyper Markets or Hyper-Marketing means that means that you get all things under the same roof and you get discounts on every item (forget the parking fees). Families prefer going to the Malls on weekends so that they can have an outing and then buy provisions for the whole week. When you buy things in bulk, then it means you would be saving on expenses! Some retail outlets offer loyalty bonus programmes so each time you shop you win loyalty bonus points! Becoming a loyal member means that you also get special offers and you get to know about new products on phone or E-mail.
One can’t blame the Mall-Goer for being an obsessive-compulsive window shopper because, finally, there is no where else to go on a week-end! Added to this you have activities for everyone in the family! The Reliance Times Out outlet in Ambiance Mall has special reading activities for young readers, famous writers visit the Bookstore for launching their books, and then, there are competitions for writers and poets! Some Malls have come op with ingenuous ideas like bungee jumping, bowling, and batting! Would it be wrong to state that a visit to the Mall offers you a complete package of entertainment! Those who are interested can go to watch a movie at a PVR, or they can go to the food court to have Thai- Khao-Phad Nam Prik Pao or the more humble South Indian Sambhar Vada!
Recently when I visited Gurgaon, I accompanied my family to another new Mall on M.G.Road which had a newly opened Hyper-Market store which offered everything from LCD/LED T.Vs. to Laptops, FMCGs.,food stuff, and most surprising of all, they had Turkey, Rabbit and what not in the Meat section! The Fish was tastefully arranged and I couldn’t resist taking a snap!
As I said earlier, today’s Malls have everything on sale, be it clothes, jewellery, electronics, food, or even cars!
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