Citta Mall – My first impression
Since there is so much interests here on this neighbourhood mall, I decided to drop by last Sunday.
Turning off from Jalan PJU 1A/1, almost immediately, I had to make a quick decision. Should I go straight or make a right turn? I had earlier saw a small notice for delivery trucks. And the same sign is pointing right. Well, I wasn’t making any deliveries so the right decision had to be straight. Wrong! At the T-junction facing the school, I couldn’t turn right into the mall. It is a one-way street. I ended up making a detour via Jalan Lembah Subang. Problem #1: Lack of directions to the mall.
I have been to SS2 Mall but only several weeks later after the official opening. Other than the front row of shops, the complex proper is quite deserted. So I expected the same, more or less. Driving into the car park, I was a little surprised there were more cars than I expected. I bet most of them were there simply out of curiosity. After getting down from the car, the billboards by BBQ King immediately caught my attention. Next to it is Harvey Norman. Not bad for pre-opening advertising.
Walking into the mall, you kind of miss the “you are welcome” feeling. I know it is just a soft opening but first impression is important. Problem #2: the management need a more aggressive mall manager. The success or failure of a mall depends heavily on how a shopping mall is managed: from the parking rates, the mixed of tenants and programmes to attract the crowd.
There was a small stage, poorly lit. On one side was a sand art stall and on the other were two carts offering free candies and pop-corns. Usually, anything free would attract a long queue but no, there was no queue.
A very long walkalator takes you to first floor. The first plus point. This mall is certainly family friendly or at least the desire to be one. As expected, only very few shops have started operations, the rest are shuttered. If you are an avid reader, you may have found something here: a large collection of books on sale. The walkalator continues to second floor which is totally deserted.
I was looking for a bite and the only eatery is Pappa Rich on the ground floor. Being the first to operate has its risks but I think they didn’t regret that decision. The place was packed although it was already three-ish. I decided to give it a pass. As I drove out of the car park, my attention was caught by a sign that says “Free food and booze”. But there was a condition: you need to be dressed in black. For a moment, I wasn’t sure if it was an advertising gimmick or a catch. I didn’t bother.
Will I return? Yes but not until the key tenants are in. Perhaps after the grand opening, things will be very different. I hope so. This mall has good potential in the longer term. The Puncak condo’s next door is a reservoir of shoppers today. But again, not necessarily. NZX is a good example. On the other side, the land is already fenced up for the next project: a hotel with a convention center, an office block and a block of service apartments.
Whether this mall will flourish will depend on the management. They have to work very hard to get my attention as I am spolit for choices today: 1U, the Curve, Tropicana Mall, the Empire.
Now try to read the minds of the Ara Damansarians.