Mall and Mela Trips- A Fun Way to Study Retail Management

Students of Retail Management at FIIB in the second year of PGDM, have to do a couple of trips as a part of their course curriculum. The first trip entails a visit to a mall, the most organized format of retail in India. The second is to an unorganized format like a Mela or a Haat. As the course faculty I am supposed to take the students out for the educational trip.
In the month of February I had taken the students of Retail Elective for a trip to Ambience Mall. This trip entailed students to understand the zoning of the mall, which typically meant to understand the layout of the mall. There is a reason the stores are located in a particular way across the different floors of the Ambience mall, Gurgaon. There are anchor stores in each floor with their adjoining vanilla stores, which facilitate movement of stocks from atleast one store if the choices of customers are not met while shopping in the designated Anchor stores. Anchor stores like Zara in the ground floor & Westside in the first floor are stores that actually drive footfalls inside the mall. People visit the mall for these stores & then move to vanilla stores to pick up additional items or accessories for their original shopping basket. Students were given a complete tour of the mall with detailed explanations on security management, entertainment events organized for visitors, restaurants & bars which total 45 in number & cater to diverse food palettes of visitors, gaming zones to pander to the sport enthusiasts & the electronic, apparels, cosmetics, books & footwear stores for all & sundry visitors. In totality the mall aims to target their niche clients as also general visitors who come in the category of those who want to “hangout”. This visit was followed up by reports from students who also did comparative analysis of atleast two similar format stores from within the store.
In the month of March (towards the end of the month) students were taken to the Kisan Haat in Chattarpur for a look into working of unorganized sector where farmers bring their produce for sale to customers directly. The day we visited Kisan Haat there was a Dastakar Green Mela that had been organized. The atmosphere was like a village mela with traditional handicrafts on sale, and their creators (the artisans & weavers) trying to sell their products. Prices were a wee bit high, but one could make out that the quality was good & the fresh produce was actually fresh. Students had a field day interacting with the salespeople who had come from far of villages from across the country. They tried to understand the manufacturing process, the distribution systems, the pricing strategies and their linkages with various NGOs for better outreach in urban areas. This visit too was converted into reports written by students who had visited the Mela.
Do enjoy the pics that are with this blog, to get a pulse of the fun that students had in field learning!