Gauteng Business News

Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  12 Aug 2009

Retail: Retailers Rush for Space at Mall Of the North


Recent Gauteng Business News

The R1.2 billion Mall of the North is set to open in the first quarter of 2011 and is owned and developed by JSE-listed company Resilient Property Income Fund, Flanagan and Gerard and Moolman Group.

Already substantially let, with some 85% of space subscribed for to date, Mall of the North has garnered strong interest from retailers who are keen to take up position and be exposed to this unique market.

Amongst Mall of the North’s numerous retail draw cards, is the fact that many retailers in the Polokwane area are currently reporting strong trading densities, even outperforming those in many major metropolitan areas, explains Patrick Flanagan of Flanagan and Gerard. “Mall of the North will unlock new retail prospects creating an economic stimulus and will serve Polokwane as well as the entire northern region of the country, with cross-border shopping as an additional factor”.

Mall of the North’s complete retail experience is akin to that usually only offered in South Africa’s major cities, and includes shops, brands and labels which are know to draw residents of surrounding areas to the likes of Johannesburg, Pretoria and even Cape Town to purchase.

"Mall of the North will definitely launch Polokwane into a higher orbit. After its opening in 2011 Polokwane will never look back,” says Polokwane Executive Mayor Thabo Makunyane.

The tenant mix for Mall of the North, with its over 160 shops, features a substantial number of South Africa’s most popular national retailers in synergy with a bouquet of unique Limpopo owner-operated stores which together provide the variety and choice of a one-stop shopping experience which is attractive to everyone.

Mall of the North’s anchor tenants include two supermarkets which are in excess of 5,000sqm, Pick n Pay and Checkers, joined by Edgars, Woolworths and Game, as well as a cinema complex.

These anchors will be supported by leading national retailers including a Truworths Emporium of 3,000sqm and a variety of 10 Foschini Group brands. Ackermans Group, Mr Price Group, Dion Wired, Incredible Connection, Clicks and Dis-Chem will also be joining Mall of the North.

A number of national retailers will be introduced to Polokwane for the first time including Due South, Cross Trainer and the Jewellery Design Company.

“This will create a broader-based retail, restaurant and entertainment offering in Polokwane, ensuring valuable consumer spend is retained in Polokwane and Limpopo,” notes Jannie Moolman of Moolman Group. “There is currently an estimated annual R350 million consumer spend outflow from Polokwane as local consumers travel into Gauteng to obtain goods and retail brands which are unavailable locally”. This means, not only will it retain money within the local economy, but also attract additional spending power to the area.

It is for this reason that the easy-to-access, central site of Mall of the North has selected Bendor, a rapidly developing component of Polokwane, in the heart of its growth corridor, ideally sited at the intersection of a national and provincial road.

Providing shoppers with a diverse assortment of choices is key to the tenant mix strategy of Mall of the North. The centre will offer an outstanding department store and fashion variety with the diverse ranges from Edgars, Woolworths, Foschini group, Truworths, Mr Price and Ackerman’s complemented by beautiful boutiques and niched fashion wear.

The comprehensive shopping experience will also provide for comparative shopping in the categories where consumers favour this. For example shoppers seeking computers or electronics will be able to weigh up the options in Dion Wired, Incredible connection and local specialist retailers.

With the ensemble of Boardmans, @Home, Mr Price Home, Coricraft and a selection of home décor stores particular to the centre, an exceptional home ware retail experience will be one of the signatures of Mall of the North.

Some 4,000sqm of banking space will represent all major South African banks. Cinemas and a vibrant Food Court will be complemented by a variety of coffee shops at strategic positions through the mall, all extending a visit to Mall of the North beyond shopping into an exciting and entertaining experience.

However giving the mall its distinct flavour are the local retailers. “We are expecting strong participation from local businesses, especially in the services, beauty, business, restaurant, coffee shop, fast food and fashion boutique categories. Wherever possible we hope to include unique concepts which are differentiated from the offerings of well-known national retailers and franchises,” notes Flanagan.

Aiming to have at least 15% local retailer participation, this leasing strategy will ensure that the Mall of the North shopping experience launches beyond generic with a distinctive local spin and a welcome personal touch at which owner-operated businesses excel.

A number of local retailers were invited to meet with the developers and owners to find out more about Mall of the North at a special leasing event held. The function attracted the attendance of some 350 eager potential tenants and local representatives.

“We are pleased by the enthusiastic reception the local retail community has given to Mall of the North. We are confident that this shopping centre will be an icon from which the communities of Polokwane and Limpopo can truly benefit – be it through job creation, skills transfer, business growth and development or simply enjoying the shopping variety and convenience offered,” says Johann Kriek, executive director of Resilient.

As a landmark symbolising a meeting point for the area with the expansive world of national and international retail, this fusion will also be reflected in the shopping centre itself. The fully air-conditioned Mall of the North will be built to the most modern international standards and provide a world-class experience shopping experience which will compare favourably with major regional malls around the globe, while the essence of Polokwane by incorporating elements of natural design, texture and local materials to create a leading example in localised shopping that meets international standards.

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