Malls turn women-friendly
Mall owners are now going all out to ensure that their lady shoppers feel safe while shopping. They are now providing women shoppers with an all-woman attendant brigade to ensure an ideal mall mix for them — shopping-relaxing-entertainment.
Sample this. A woman shopper alights from her car and hands over the vehicle keys to the waiting woman attendant in the basement parking lot of a mall, who then parks the car for her. She is escorted to the lift by yet another woman security guard and then left alone to continue shopping.
“We are recruiting women security guards for our mall. Almost 30 per cent of our women attendants are women. In fact, our contract with the security agency clearly lays down that 30 per cent of the security staff should constitute women attendants. We want our women customers, perhaps the largest spenders, to feel safe and secure in the retail environment,” says Pranay Sinha, president and CEO, Select CityWalk.
“In the process of recruiting women security staff, we are also generating employment for women living in the vicinity,” he adds.
Sunil Nihal Duggal of the 24Secure brand, the company that provides women security staff for malls, hotels and hospitals, says that women feel a lot more comfortable with women attendants around.
A recent study conducted by the National Institute of Criminology and Forensic Sciences points out that over 80 per cent of women in market places said they felt insecure. Almost 60 per cent of women shoppers complained that they felt insecure in a shopping mall.
Security for women shoppers has always been an issue with malls. There was a recent case wherein a group of about a dozen men had allegedly attempted to molest a woman, and thrashed her pilot husband in the basement parking lot of a mall near Delhi.