South Africa's biggest mall offers glimpse of retail future as it celebrates its second birthday
The country’s biggest mall celebrated its second birthday saying the end of the South Africa’s political turmoil has brought positive benefits to retailers.
Bosses at The Mall of Africa are also upbeat about the future of bricks and mortar stores, despite growing competition from online shopping, says a report this week on Fin24.com.
The Midrand-based mall saw 11 per cent growth in turnover in December 2017, compared with 2016, with a total revenue between R3.6bn and R3.8bn, that’s around $300m.
The mall’s developers predict that these figures will improve, as the economy continues to recover. Boasting over 300 shops, with substantial anchor tenants and a carefully selected retail mix, Mall of Africa offers a shopping experience like no other. Over 90 per cent of available retail space has been let to date, ensuring a well-balanced variety of local and leading international brands.
“Last year, the political environment definitely had an impact on us. Many retailers were struggling to sign a 5- or 10-year lease,” Mike Clampett, head of asset and property management at Attacq Ltd, told Fin24 on Tuesday.
The year 2017 was difficult for many established brands such as department store Stuttafords, which folded, and Edcon – the parent company for Edgars, CNA and Jet – which came under pressure.
Clampett said Edcon closed River Island and Mango shops nationally and in the mall, but has just concluded a transaction to keep Edgars inside Mall of Africa.
However, online competition is growing in South Africa where around 5 per cent of shoppers are users, according to PwC’s 2016 retail survey.
Clampett says that in order to counter this, “you have to offer more than a building” and Mall of Africa is trying to lure customers to bricks and mortar shops with extra clean toilets and ticketless parking.