World’s first ever customer centric standards for malls assuring safe retail and social environment
Kolkata, 12 March 2021: Shopping Centers Association of India (SCAI) today marked a new milestone for the Indian Retail and Shopping Centre industry. The apex body of Modern and Organised retail in India today announced the launch of the World’s First Consumer Centric ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ mark certification for malls. This new certification mark was launched under the existing IRF Trusted Mark Certification scheme. The ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ mark is a third-party certification on customer service metrics and benchmarks; audited by globally accredited certification bodies (CBs) and in India, NABCB (under Quality Council of India, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, (GoI) accredited CBs in accordance with ISO/IEC 17065.
The ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ mark certification scheme incorporates additional ‘New Normal’ checklists for shopping centers and all retail formats, categories and channels. This third-party certification will assure compliance of safety & hygiene measures by retailers and shopping centres as recommended in SCAI and MoHFW guidelines and SOPs specifically developed by respective trade bodies for retailers across all formats, categories and channels; multiplexes, leisure & entertainment, salons, spas and gyms, restaurants & food courts among others.
Speaking on the launch, Amitabh Taneja, Chairman, Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI) said, “We are glad to introduce the certification that is poised to set a global benchmark in the customer centric standards for malls. The Indian market has 650 large and over 1000 small shopping centres offering organized retail environment to shoppers and this ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ mark certification is critical andhas been introduced to step ahead in setting global best practices towards customer service, facilities, systems and infrastructure.
Sushil Mohta, Chairman, SCAI East Chapter – who is also the Chairman of Merlin Group of Companies and Partner-Director, South City Group – said, “ The audit process will be independently assessed by an impartial third party, includes ensuring a periodical internal check, Mystery Audit by real customers trained for the purpose and physical audit of SOPs and implementations by a registered and global certification bodies, shall encourage retailers and shopping centres not only to adhere to the stringent standards but also motivate them to continuously improvise on benchmarking customer centric measures that are critical to assure a robust retail environment for customers. This will also help in gaining confidence of consumers and all stakeholders by ensuring them that the certified stores/centres follow global best practices and comply with all prescribed regulations and will strengthen the belief in the whole system of retail and shopping centre operations manifold towards customer centricity. This certification shall endeavour to facilitate trade, fair competition and consumer acceptance on a national, regional and international level.”
Dr. R. P. Singh, Secretary General, Quality Council of India and Trusted Board Member expressing his pleasure on the launch said, “the IRF Trusted Mark Certification Scheme will achieve yet another milestone with the launch ‘TRUSTED SHOPPING CENTRE’ mark, the customer centric standards for malls in India. Millions of shoppers in India will be assured of a safe retail and social environment when they visit the certified stores or malls. India must adopt the best possible customer service mindset and give customers their deserved importance, and I compliment the Shopping Centres Association of India (SCAI), all trade bodies and multi stakeholder committees that have worked on developing these customer centric standards with the IRF Trusted Mark Secretariat. I hope that this certification under the internationally recognized national accreditation, the infrastructure for which exists in the Quality Council of India, will help shopping malls and retailers not only to adhere to the stringent standards but also motivate them to continuously improvise on benchmarking customer centric measures that are critical to assure a robust retail environment for customers”.
The ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ Scheme primarily aims to award certification to retailers and shopping centers that demonstrate superior quality and other characteristics which meet the rigorous requirements of the Trusted Scheme and to inform and assure consumers through the certification that retailers and shopping centers, as certified under the Trusted Scheme, are following the comprehensive quality requirements, which in turn are inherently consumer oriented and focused.
Dalip Sehgal, CEO, Nexus Malls said, “At Nexus Malls, the safety of our patrons, staff and retail partners is of utmost importance to us. Since reopening of malls, we have followed stringent protocols to ensure the highest standards of hygiene and safety across our portfolio. Now that the government has lifted all restrictions and malls have mostly resumed business as usual, the need to provide sanitised and safe conditions becomes more important than ever. The ‘Trusted Shopping Centre’ certification will reassure customers of the certified stores and malls following the best global practices and are compliant with all Covid safety measures as laid down by SCAI and MHA.”
There has been overwhelming response to participation in the development and ratification of standards and certification process. India’s top trade bodies, corporate counsels, economists, consumer, academic, consulting & research organizations, over 100 top global and Indian retail and retail real estate actively organisations participated in developing this unique customer centric scheme for retailers which as per experts will be the most widely accepted and visible consumer mark in times to come