luxury shopping is a matter of exclusivity

Dinaz Madhukar Senior Vice President  & Mall Head, DLF Emporio, New Delhi manages India’s only dedicated luxury shopping mall since 2010. WCRC Leaders Asia’s Dhruv Bhatia engages her in a conversation to find out more about the business side of luxury shopping

dinaz-madhunkarWhat was the idea behind DLF Emporio? Why call it ‘Emporio’?
Till a few years back, luxury retail was only meant for the elite. There were just a handful of luxury brands accessible and that too in five star hotels only. But over the years, increasing urbanisation has monetarily empowered the consumer which has further helped the luxury market to find a firm footing for itself. A new chapter started in the history of luxury retail in India with the opening of DLF Emporio in New Delhi. There is no other place where such a wealth of designers and luxury merchandise is retailed under one roof. India has a vibrant and promising luxury market which keeps growing every year. DLF Emporio sees India as a growing market for luxury brands to invest in. Today, a number of international brands look at India as a country that provides promising opportunities for it is a fast growing luxury market. The luxury market witnessed a robust growth of 20 per cent from 2009 and is estimated that by 2015, India and China will account for a quarter of the global luxury demand.
The term ‘Emporio’, in Spanish, means ‘a shopper’s paradise’.

Do you see a saturation point for DLF Emporio in the near future?
The present scenario of India as an economy does not show any levels of saturation for luxury shopping. As DLF Emporio is 100 per cent leased out, DLF has put into motion the construction of two more luxury malls in Chanakyapuri and Gurgaon respectively to accommodate brands that want to enter the Indian Luxury market. We are seeing a lot more demand and interest in the Indian luxury market coming from both Indian and international brands. As discussed, India is a developing nation and home to the biggest young population chunk in the world with increasing purchasing power.

You just had the second DLF Emporio Design Awards 2013 a few weeks back. And before that, there was a sales preview and unveiling of a314-a sculpture. What kind of statement is Emporio trying to make?
Our endeavour is to reach out to as many aspirational Indians who appreciate luxury products and services.  We promote ourselves as India’s top luxury destination, housing brands from across the world. Being India’s only luxury destination, one can always look forward to getting the top-end stuff from around the world right here. We believe in constant communication with our patrons, to make shopping a delightful experience for them. We keep them updated on DLF Emporio happenings, events and offers at the mall through monthly newsletters and social media activities. Varied events, exclusive collection and sales previews are hosted to ensure that a connect is maintained between the brands and our customers.
DLF Emporio’s annual brand properties such as Luxury Shopping Festival, Rarest of Rare, DLF Design Awards, festive pop up stores & installation and Treasury of Trousseau assist the brands to showcase their products and consumers also get to explore what luxury brands are offering for a particular season.

Highlight the value-added services/USP when it comes to customer service and expectations.
Luxury retailers are finding innovative ways to interact with their patrons, be it personalised shopping, in-store events or digital look-books and catalogues in store. Needless to say, excellent service standards are paramount in the luxury industry and will continue to play a vital role in the coming years. We, at DLF Emporio, aim to provide a top-of-the-line luxury shopping experience to all our guests. Trained by some of the most prestigious hotel operations teams in the country, DLF Emporio concierge services are tailored at par with any luxury hotel in the world.
We have a dedicated concierge team that offers guests personalised assistance which include hands free shopping, wheel chair services, baby strollers, money exchange, restaurant bookings, taxi services on call, travel and sightseeing information to name a few.

What are the factors that drive The Emporio to stand apart from other commercial malls across the country?
DLF Emporio has become a name synonymous with luxury. The stress is on exclusivity, space and aesthetics. Luxury brands such as Canali, Dior, DKNY, Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, Versace, Porsche Design, etc. are all housed under one roof. The best Indian designers such as Aashima Leena, Manish Arora, Rajesh Pratap Singh, Rina Dhaka and Satya Paul, to name a few, have also set up their shops here. DLF Emporio houses 74 international labels and 111 Indian designers.

How does DLF Emporio plan to capture the young people’s imagination? Are separate communications/campaigns and product lines in the offing?
The digital medium is very important to us and it allows for direct and two-way communication with our patrons on an ongoing basis. Today, with technology advancements and the rising growth of social media, we are effectively engaging with our patrons. DLF Emporio is very active on social media portals such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
In an effort to make shopping a captivating experience, DLF Emporio communicates regularly through its website, monthly newsletters and digital look-books. We have nearly 120,000 likes on Facebook and have witnessed younger audiences engaging with us on the latest in fashion, style and luxury.
A recent campaign of ours that received an overwhelming response was the DLF Emporio Design Awards wherein we aimed to push raw talent in fashion design.