Yerevan Gallery
Beyond shopping

Yerevan Gallery

This October, when the city of Yerevan was celebrating the 2800th anniversary of its founding, the city’s biggest shopping mall – Yerevan Mall, was celebrating the opening of the Yerevan Gallery where one can find dozens of shops and a café, or have a rest near the fountain. Regional Post talked to Yerevan Mall’s Marketing Director Shushan Avagimyan about the Gallery and about Mall’s other unique services.

Interview : Diana Martirosyan    Photo : Yerevan Mall

 

Yerevan Mall now has a whole new “street” inside. How did you come up with the idea of Yerevan Gallery?

— We had the idea of bringing a new life and new spirit into Yerevan Mall. There's enough marble, tile and stone in the mall, so we thought we might need something new to create a warmer atmosphere. It’s not easy to compete with others: the same brands are presented everywhere, there’s no huge difference among the ranges, so you need to create some atmosphere, ambiance, flavor, spirit which would let you be distinct from others. And the concept of old, cozy Yerevan street was what we needed – old style facades, cobblestone, a small and cozy fountain and a café – just like in real life. It took us almost two years to complete it, and here we are!

The grand opening of the Gallery took place on Erebuni-Yerevan celebration day…

— Yes! It was kind of a present from us to the city we all love. Of course, it’s not that easy to create something of the kind in a quite commercial place, but as we can see from the feedback of the visitors – they like it, as they enjoy the cozy atmosphere here and relax from the fuss. I think the cobblestone gives you that feeling, creates the climate of calmness and comfort as at leisure. Because it’s not about fast shopping, rush and haste, it’s a more peaceful place.

And like every shopping mall, we also do our best to create some space for family pastime, and for friends to meet and chat. Armenians don’t spend the whole day in the shopping malls as people do it abroad, so we are trying to establish those conditions to suggest something which is beyond just shopping. So, we've also pursued that purpose in our new Yerevan Gallery project.

Yerevan Mall’s Marketing Director Shushan Avagimyan

Yerevan is known not only for its long history, but also for the unique spirit that one can feel while walking in the old-town streets like Abovyan. It feels the same here. What do you think?

— Well, I know for sure that we’ve created something new in the mall which draws attention. Sitting on the bench in front of the fountain gives you the feeling of being outside, in the charming street. Also, there are presented 16-17 new brands here, which were required to address the needs of the male customers. Plus, now we have a new series of services: delivery, valet parking and personal shopper, a person who helps with shopping, also acts as an advisor-stylist, or just deals with quick shopping to save the time of busy customers. For example, if the customer needs a red clutch and white pants and doesn’t want to spend hours on searching them, the personal shopper, who knows everything about the presented items, can be very helpful. Thus, we save the customers' time and provide them with exactly what they need. Also, you can choose an option to order some clothing by sending the photo and getting it to your house. People usually use this option for gifts or for clothes which have been already tried on.

You mentioned about the Mall’s new service: the valet parking. That is something new for the Armenian reality. How did you feel its need?

— As everyone knows it’s not that comfortable and easy for many people to park the car, drive around other cars in the narrow aisles. Valet parking is also about saving time and avoiding a stressful situation for some people. The same with the delivery; again, it’s good if you know exactly what you need but have no time to leave your work place and visit the mall, also it’s convenient when you want to order a gift card. Or, maybe, you’ve already done your shopping and you need to deliver it to your house. I don’t like to use the word 'unprecedented', because often people use it out of place, but here I should say that the above-mentioned three offers are in fact unprecedented for Armenian mall business reality. We always work hard to propose something which is good, new and required, which makes shopping routine much more pleasant and enjoyable.

So, can we say that it’s a kind of either Western or Eastern shopping model? Or, is it a mix of the succeeded shopping experience of abroad?

— It could be every successful experience which we have adopted for local customers: we don’t invent new stuff, we just want to replicate useful and positive foreign experience. Anyway, it’s difficult and sometimes risky to offer new things to the local client. Sometimes people are afraid of new experiences. So, we are doing our best to be innovative by using successful experience.

 

Yerevan Mall

Yerevan Mall, opened in 2014, is the largest mall in Armenia in terms of number of its stores and total floor area. It covers an area of 30,600,000 square meters of shopping area with over 150 stores and attractions. Mall offers a unique dining and entertainment at the cafes and food courts, plus amusing attractions like Captain Kid’s Treasure Island, the largest indoor entertainment center in Armenia, the KinoPark 4K movie theater and more. The first Carrefour hypermarket in Armenia is located at Yerevan Mall. In 2016, Yerevan Mall launched its customer loyalty program, Club Card project.

 

How do you assess the progress of Armenian shopping? Do you see, let’s call it, the advancement of customer needs?

— If we should compare what we had in 2014, when we just opened, to what we have now – there’d be two types of completely different customers. Geographically we are not in the best and the most flattering part of the city, so if then it was just the curiosity of locals, who lived nearby and visited just to have a walk or have a look, so now, after all those marketing events and activities, we have a customer who knows that here he or she can find a big shopping place, a cinema theater and leisure for their kids and themselves. It doesn’t mean that you need a big budget for mall shopping. Absolutely! Now, I think we’ve broken that stereotype and are looking for something new, new offers for our experienced customers, because if there is someone who is looking forward to your offer you have to always propose something innovative and interesting.