Everyone’s in a cheery mood on the opening day of Forum Vijaya Mall. Of course, it takes quite a while to reach there, pummelling through the traffic that Arcot Road is infamous for. But just as you cruise into the parking lot, the security remind you of umpire Billy Bowden; the arms do a quick dance before pointing you left or right. A joint venture of Vijaya Productions and The Prestige Group, Forum Vijaya Mall, spread over 6,36,000 sq ft of retail space, is the new kid on the block. While it might look a little small on the outside, step in and you’ll change your mind. With over 100 shops occupying its four levels, Forum Vijaya distinguishes itself by being local; RmKV, Poppat Jamal, Ibaco, Haji Ali, Viveks and other Chennai-centric brands are a part of its glittering façade. It will soon be home to SPI Cinema’s Palazzo, an eight-screen multiplex and an IMAX screen as well. “We understand the power of local retail,” says S. Raghunandhan, CEO, The Forum Mall.
It also boasts of a multi-level car parking that can hold up to 3,000 and more cars over 11 floors and two basement levels. The interesting part is that a person who wants to go to the third floor can directly park on that floor and enter the mall. The Food Court, ‘Via South’, is characterised by colourful squares, ‘Digital Kolams’ that bring out the south connect. This 850-seater food court has a variety to indulge in such as Wang’s Kitchen, Sammy Sosa, Kailash Parbat, Moti Mahal Deluxe and so on. There is also ID, Pasta Bar Veneto, Café Coffee Day, KFC and other restaurants. “Most people like local food so we have eight local kitchens out of the ten in the food court. We’ve also made sure every level has a food and beverage outlet.”
Says Muhammad Ali, general manager, The Forum Mall. “Everyone comes looking for an experience and shopping is only a part of it. At Forum, we will try to create a community space by holding events that are local.”
As for the shops, each floor is categorised; “First floor has ethnic and casual wear. Ground floor has formal men’s wear while second floor has electronics, travel gear and so on,” says Raghunandhan. While more than 50 shops are already open, the rest are set to open by the end of the month. Another attraction, apart from Lifestyle, Westside and Marks and Spencers would be Chennai’s largest hypermarket Auchan, which is set to open soon. “It will change the way Chennai shops,” smiles Raghunandhan.
The Forum Vijaya Mall is located at 183, Arcot Road, Vadapalani.