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South India Shopping Mall – Evolving With Contemporary Times

By Satarupa Chakraborty | August 29, 2018

What happens when a family-operated store format takes a refreshing design look to elevate the retail experience? Well, check out South India Shopping Mall’s latest store at Bangalore’s premium Whitefield Road, presenting a strategic mix of global and local with its 4000 sq ft space designed by the Chennai-based architectural agency Saran Associates.

A favourite brand name in south India, with around 18 stores across Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Karnataka, South India Shopping Mall is elevating their showcase with a refreshing design ID for their Whitefield store in Bangalore.

The design direction that Saran Associates takes is Indian accent. Keeping the Indian-ness as their central theme, the idea was to turn an age-old design concept into a contemporary one along with being exceptionally functional. The challenge of dense SKUs like any other traditional retail came in the way of maintaining both functionality and aesthetics. While much of the space had to evolve with contemporary times, the nostalgia of an age-old brand couldn’t be done away with.

Therefore, the experience had to commence even before entering the space. The grand facade magnificently leads the luxurious retail space equally spread across three floors. It has been designed using their logo and pattern as an inspiration. The use of printed lacquered glass enhances the character of the facade to a whole new level. The window display breaks the monotony and offers a glimpse of what is in store for the users.

Ground level houses sarees and premium pattu sarees; it also has the cash, billing and delivery counter. For such store formats, delivery is typically separated from cash/billing for the ease of better control. 3D jalliwork cut out of metal in antique gold finish has been experimented for both wall modules and counters. The ground floor space is richly layered and textured with wooden mouldings in the wall modules and the furniture. The use of Tanjore paintings and traditionally-carved Chettinad pillars (sourced from Karaikudi) called “Yali” accentuates the ambience of the entire section.

First level continues with women’s merchandise comprising western and Indian wear segments. This floor carries similar design language while exquisite CNC cutout counters for premium lehengas and salwar segment breaks the monotony. Indian pattern in tiles reminds one of the ethnicity of the brand while rose gold fixtures adorn this floor with a touch of contemporary aesthetics.

At the second level, which is dedicated to menswear, there is a conscious shift in design and colour scheme to suit the shift of merchandises and mood. White oak wooden ceiling dominates the floor with good accent pendant near the hot spot. The casual zone is designed with black powder coated fixtures and frames while the ethnic zone has elements like wooden mouldings and copper fixtures.

Third floor for kids has a pure white scheme with splashes of colour here and there to present a playful ambience, while vibrant colours along with simple fixtures and visuals added to the theme.

Suresh Seerna, Director, South India Shopping Mall

We wanted to re-imagine the store environment of a typically family-operated store format. The idea was to help our customers shop without much of staff assistance. Therefore, the store design had to be modern, where perfect displays should be at centerstage. At the same time, our brand’s legacy had to be retained.   

Ashateet Saran, Director, Saran Associates

Aiming to cater to the whole family, we wanted to move away from the conventional approach of behind-counter sales to a more consumer-friendly and self-service oriented format. Keeping Indian ethnicity and aspirations in mind, we wanted the project to be a strategic mix of global and local, without losing the core values of an organised traditional retailer. With our process in place, the project was completed in 60 days. 

Fixtures - Rocky Steels, Mumbai

Flooring - RAK Flooring

Lighting - Gardler Lighting

Signage - Archana Neons, Hyderabad

Photographs - Simon Studios, Hyderabad

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