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RETAIL: Top SA Retail Groups Expand with Sandton City


Recent Gauteng Business News

Leading SA retail groups have seized the opportunity to expand together with the country’s premier shopping destination, Sandton City.

The super-regional shopping Centre’s landmark expansion and refurbishment project - which involves interior refurbishments and 30,000sqm of new retail space - is set to further strengthen the Centre’s position as one of Africa’s leading retail icons.

Amongst SA’s national retail groups which have identified Sandton City’s extension as a key to unlocking their own expansion strategies include market leaders Truworths Group, The Foschini Group, Mr Price Group, Ackermans and Edcon.

“The expansion of Sandton City is strongly retailer-driven,” says Julie Hillary, General Manager Sandton Region, for Liberty Properties. “We’ve worked closely with our national tenants to bring the very latest and best retail concepts and designs to shoppers.”

The R1.77 billion first phase of the Sandton City redevelopment is being undertaken by Liberty Properties on behalf of owners Liberty Group (75%) and Pareto Ltd (25%).

The impressive extension is due to open to shoppers in November this year, bringing even more shopping variety to meet the ever-growing needs of Sandton City’s market and making the Centre more shopper-friendly.

“Sandton City’s extension is partly a platform for the expansion of national retailers and the introduction of the latest-specification national flagship and concept stores,” notes Hillary. “In addition to bringing even more dazzle to Sandton City’s glittering line-up of exceptional international fashion brands, it will also provide customers with even more of their favourite shopping from SA’s best-loved retailers, all at world-class standards.”

South Africa’s largest Truworths Emporium is set to open in Sandton City, facilitated by its extension. The Truworths Emporium will include interlinked Identity and YDE stores, in addition to its LTD, Ginger Mary, UZZI, Daniel Hechter and Elements Cosmetics and Fragrance national brands – a first ever for South Africa’s leading fashion retailer.

A Shoppers Life with SA Retail Groups in Sandton

Shoppers will be able to move freely between Truworths brands, with store entrances both in the magnificent new Protea Court, a highlight of the Sandton City extension, and the existing Mugg and Bean Court. All this will be ready in 2012 and the new Truworths Emporium will incorporate the very latest concept in store design and architecture across all brands.

Hans Bitter of The Foschini Group (TFG) says the repositioning of the retail groups brands at Sandton City is in line with the Group’s expansion strategy. “We have grown our retail space by over 30% in the last few years and the new retail space available as a result of the Sandton City extension is important to our expansion strategy,” says Bitter.

The Foschini retail group will almost double its trading area in Sandton City to a 1,900sqm store and will receive a full new fit-out to introduce a never-before-seen experience from this retailer.

@Home will relocate to a 1,930sqm footprint from its current 560sqm store and provide a full @HomeLivingSpace offering, including enlarged homeware store and furniture. “Sandton City @Home is already a top performer and we are expecting the enlarged format to be well received by the Sandton City consumer,” says Bitter.

Relocating to the current Sandton City @Home store in early 2012 will be Sterns and Sport Scene, which currently trades at adjoining Nelson Mandela Square. TFG will also be enlarging Markhams from 495sqm to 1,000sqm and introducing a new stand-alone Donna Claire store to its mix at Sandton City. American Swiss will grow to an 115sqm sophisticated “black” concept store, as currently found in its Eastgate and Menlyn stores.

Edcon too will be introducing exciting new offerings with the Sandton City expansion.

The existing Edgars store will be enlarged by an extra 2,800sqm to provide a massive 12,000sqm.

Upgrades Aplenty for SA Retail Groups

The upgrades will align Edgars Sandton City to the Group’s sparkling “flagship” store concept, similar to that of Edgars Melrose Arch. It will provide a wider range of local and international ladies’ and men’s apparel and kidswear, a new studio shopping concept and exciting new cosmetics brands, as well as an extensive Edgars homeware section.

“We are pleased to announce that Jet will be re-introduced to the Sandton City shopper bringing customers a revamped, visually enhanced concept store,” says Michael Pienaar, Edcon Group Property Executive. The new 1,500sqm Jet includes a full range of clothing, footwear and accessories for the entire family. Expressly designed to suit the Sandton City shopper, Jet will be located in the new Sandton City extension and will include the latest store enhancements aligned to Jet’s concept store offering.

CNA Sandton City is also set to receive a revamp and will include even more in the high-tech products market. “Ranges will be expanded with special emphasis on providing for the modern gadget shopper,” explains Pienaar. “A wider selection of computer products, gaming and consols, and notebook computers will be available in the new CNA.”

Ackermans is also set for an exciting new look at Sandton City. One of this retailer’s largest five stores, of some 450 in Southern Africa, the Sandton City store is earmarked to deliver top performance with one of the highest budgeted turnover of all its stores. For the first time ever Ackermans is introducing new design elements at its Sandton City store, with innovative green elements including energy efficient lighting and electrical systems.

“In addition to these remarkable expansions, which are set to lead retailing in South Africa for years to come, a further 58 retailers will be joining the already exceptional Sandton City tenant mix as part of the extension,” says Hillary. “We will be announcing our new retailers over the next few months, as we receive their consent to do so. We are very excited about the balance which has been achieved between top local brands and leading international retail and how this complements Sandton City’s existing tenant mix.”

Zoey Rylands, Woolworths Head of Selling Operations says: “We are excited about the future vision for Sandton City. It will further enhance the mall’s standing as one of the premier and leading shopping destinations in South Africa. It will offer Woolworths customers a bigger and even more exciting shopping experience.”

Sandton City’s entire retail space, including the extension, will total 143,690sqm on completion of this phase. This will take the complex, which includes the hotel and office component, to a massive 215,000sqm. This therefore will benefit all companies that are linked to this upgrade including all the top SA retail groups.

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