The ever-curious wait for the first chance to hurry over and take a look at the latest entrant in drawing room conversation. So it was that I found myself at Chennai's new Citi-Centre[CC] (or is it Center?) mall on Sunday afternoon. The building is hardly finished and I, for one, did not expect it to open for customers anytime before April. When I heard about Asin inaugurating Lifestyle's biggest store on Friday I got really curious. Of course I knew Landmark was going to be there too and I made my plans for the weekend with a careful time bracket for 'malling around'.
The CC is quite different from the way Spencers is structured. It is more like walking into a standard US mall where you will find say JCPenney occupying n floors of one corner and say Sears occupying n floors on the other corner. At CC, Lifestyle looms like a giant on one side. Three floors of goodies promising one a complete makeover of life. The store is well-designed and well-stocked too. Worth a patient visit and don't worry, for a change, there are plenty of neatly maintained rest rooms in the complex. From what is evident now, CC will not be the mall for the tiny shops. Instead it will be a host for few big ones catering to the luxury needs of the city.
Let us get to what I am itching to write about, okay? Landmark. I read somewhere that the store at CC is Landmark's fourth one in Chennai. I suppose four would mean Nungambakkam, Spencers, Residency Towers and CC? The ambience at CC is all old wood and green. The book section looks far more inviting than the one at Spencers. I did some standard book-stock checking (I have a trick up my sleeve to evaluate which bookstore suits my needs the best) and figured that Landmark has designed the book space to accommodate a wide variety of books. What you will find right now on the shelves is n copies of a single book piled to give the appearance of plenty. I suppose as the footfalls increase Landmark would change that to mirror the stock levels of Nungambakkam.
The home store section has some interesting gift stuff but the one at Spencers has more variety to offer. Glassware (limited), home linen (missing) and the others have perhaps been restricted because of Lifestyle's fare. The music section is comparable to the one at Spencers. In my opinion, if you are a reader seeking out books then Landmark at Nungambakkam is your best bet. If you are the kind who wants books to seek you out, Landmark at Spencers and the new one at CC are both pretty good. Now I have one more place to go along with cousins and friends, pretending to be interested in lace trimmings and then rushing towards the nearest Landmark entrance while they enjoy some quiet time debating matching cushion covers!
BTW, I could not manage any pictures. Did have the camera but photography was not allowed inside Lifestyle and when I saw Landmark I forgot about the camera :)
Chenthil's take here.
Update: Citi-Centre is on Radhakrishnan Salai, a short distance before it hits Beach Road.