Online retail sales surge has not deterred people from visiting shopping malls in Chennai with Express Avenue, a major city landmark, being an example.

The mall has achieved a cumulative footfall of 70 million customers over five years, and sales from retail shops have been growing in double digit every year, according to RR Aroonkumar, Chief Financial Officer, Express Avenue.

“We are setting new benchmarks with nearly a million customers visiting the mall every month,” he told BusinessLine .

Annual retail sales from 250 shops have gone up to around ₹850 crore from ₹650 crore five years ago. The mall has now 98 per cent occupancy. Sales in the last three years have been good as against a sluggish trend earlier, he said.

On competition from other malls, including Phoenix in Velachery, Aroonkumar said malls are location-based and each has its own strength and customer base.

“Nobody from here will travel frequently 15 km to Velachery and vice-versa. We enjoy our own customer base, and they will have theirs,” he said.

On threat from online retail sales, Aroonkumar said it has not affected sales in Express Avenue. People here still prefer to see the product and buy, he said.