At 5.45 am, Malad’s Inorbit Mall is a flurry of activity. The mall, with an area of half a million square feet, is used by patrons for their regular morning walk.
Called Mall Walk, this unique concept has been introduced keeping in mind the paucity of green space around Malad and the increasing awareness towards a healthy lifestyle.
Mall walks are a new concept in India but have been prevalent for a long time in the US and UK. “We started the Mall Walk about a month ago. But the number of walkers and joggers have gone up in the monsoon,” says Nishank Joshi, AGM, marketing communication. Joshi informs that several patrons find the dry environment of the shopping complex convenient to walk in but adds that several find it a mental challenge “to get up and drive to the mall when it rains”.
The Mall Walk starts at 5.45 am daily and already has around 50-60 regulars. After passing the customary security check, patrons can use the entire area of the mall (first and second floor) as well as the car park for walking or jogging.
No shops are open at the time, though water fountains and washrooms can be accessed. There is also no restriction on the direction or duration of one’s stay. There is also a trainer present to give fitness tips.
“A majority of walkers are either middle-aged or elderly. This is a convenient option for them,” says Joshi. Patrons can stay on the premises till 9 am when the mall needs to start preparing to open for business.
The Mall Walk currently takes place only at Inorbit’s Malad branch. “It is a pilot project. We need to check out the resources, infrastructure requirements etc. We might introduce it in our other malls later.”
In the future, patrons can also look forward to retailers offering juices and breakfast after their morning walk or jog. “These are all community-building measures and we will continue to implement them.”