Shop, eat, shop at Delhi’s ‘360-degree’ lifestyle stores

May 2nd, 2010 - 10:07 am ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, May 2 (IANS) Shopping for lifestyle goods has become a “360-degree” experience in the Indian capital, with many stores now offering eating options where one can grab a quick bite or soak in a fine dining experience when not browsing through a wide range of products.
Upmarket home décor boutique Zaza is the latest among them, having added the bistro Zaffiro for quick meals to its kitty last week. Known for its contemporary kitsch art and antique home accessories in Zamrudpur in south Delhi, it also boasts of a rooftop art gallery and a party zone.

“I wanted to give the expatriate shoppers and young upwardly mobile homemakers, the bulk of my client base, a complete destination for shopping and aesthetic experience to reflect the international trend in lifestyle shopping,” Christine E. Rai, who manages Zaffiro@Zaza with Rachna Desai, told IANS in the capital.

The store, spread over 6,000-square feet of premium space in three levels, stocks home décor essentials like carpets, rugs, linen, cutlery and yoga accessories in the basement.

The groundfloor hawks fashion apparel and fancy accessories while the rooftop has been designed to house an art gallery and an open air party zone. The mezzanine floor between the basement and the ground level enclosure makes up Zaffiro - the bistro.

One of the reasons that spurred Rai into making Zaffiro@Zaza a 360-degrees lifestyle store is her changing clientele.

“We have a large clientele that has travelled the world and are familiar with the global brands. They are the global Indians who want to replicate similar experience here. For example, the latest rage in wooden furniture globally is a stressed antique finish on a natural material.

“We are trying to recreate similar fashion for global customers with recycled wooden antique furniture sourced from Rajasthan, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Even our summer wear range - both pret and bathwear - is organic; made of natural fibre,” she said.

The bulk of the accessories range uses “friendly material like mesh, hemp, recycled paper, old textiles and natural dyes”. The prints are personal - mostly hand-painted by young boutique artists.

The menu at the bistro, Zaffiro, is also in tune with the stock pile at Zaza - no frills and homey. “I kept my platters light and simple,” said chef-cum-in-charge Desai.

The rather intimate and interactive kitchen counter has vegetable, chicken, tuna and egg sandwiches, pasta, salads, home fries and low-calorie soups for shoppers at price lines ranging Rs.450 to Rs.600.

The store, Rai said, was modelled on The Good Earth - an eco-accessory and lifestyle retail space in Mumbai.

The state-run Central Cottage Industries Emporium also offers a complete shopping experience with an eatery thrown in.

The trend of 360-degree stores took off with the arrival of book cafes in the capital. One of the earliest to enter the business was Full Circle and Cafe Turtle - the double-storeyed facility that included a book store, kitsch shop and a vegan cafe.

The Cha Bar at the Oxford Book Store, say owners, has been able to make the “browsing a more satisfying experience in the capital”.

The spokesperson for the Religare Arts Initiative, which has a 360-degree art shopping-cum-display facility with a cafe, said: “We have been able to reach out to the widest possible cross-section of buyers in the capital since we added our art cafe and souvenir shop to our art galleries.”

Several Indian retail chains like Gitanjali Lifestyle, an extension of the Gitanjali Jewellery group, and the Future Group are also dabbling in destination shopping. The bulk of big city shopping malls tout destination shopping as their sales and entertainment USP.

The concept of destination shopping draws from the epicurean credo of “shop, eat and celebrate” that forms the essence of the consumer mega-chain store and retail business across in Indian metros and across the world.

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