Saturday, February 5, 2011

Selling cool air...

is tough. But the title is the answer to the question: What are the malls really selling?

I mean it applies to most malls of the country except some which have been thought through by the developer/architect/businessmen nexus.

From what I observe, people visit these malls for the following reasons:
  • Warming eyes or call it window shopping
  • Whiling away time or sitting comfortably or socializing at low cost and in a clean sweat-free environment (both attributable to a great extent to free Air Conditioning)
  • Buying stuff
  • Watching movies

Find other reasons if I've missed one.

And if the first two reasons are good enough reasons to visit a mall, ask the visitors, "What is the price of air?" Don't be surprised if someone slaps the questioner!

Who pays for air conditioning? Of course, the mall owner. And he, in turn, gets it from the showroom/shop owners/renters. But most of the air-conditioning happens to keep the air in the common area/atrium cool. So shop owners/renters are basically paying a price for something that people in most circumstances won't agree to pay for or even think of paying for. Why incur such a cost and make your own and so many other businesses fail?

Or is there an assumption that people who walk in to the mall for a cool clean environment (because of the Air Conditioning) will buy once they spend some time and are exposed to the shops?!

Or is it like survive at any cost for a few years, make people habitually visit the mall even if they don't buy and eventually they'll come around to buying from the shops they see? Then we assume that the world is gonna stay static and the mall is gonna stay as squeaky and polished as when it started.

God, save the mall owners and the tenants/shop owners therein. Sorry, the real estate boom might save them if it sustains. For me, Linking Road, zindabad!