RICS - TCChetty

Africa’s built environment under the spotlight at the RICS Africa Summit 2016

RICS - TCChetty

RICS – TCChetty

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will host its second annual RICS Africa Summit in Sandton Central, Johannesburg, on 24 February 2016, bringing together leading speakers and professionals in the built environment.

Opportunities and challenges in the real estate sector and broader built environment of the burgeoning Sub-Saharan Africa market will top the agenda at the RICS Africa Summit 2016, set to take place at the Hilton Hotel in Sandton Central – Africa’s richest square mile.

“We are excited to be hosting the RICS Africa Summit again in Sandton, following the success of our inaugural Africa conference last year. The event, which takes the form of a power-packed one-day conference, preceded by a gala dinner the night before, is already fully booked,” says TC Chetty, RICS country manager for South Africa.

RICS is a global professional body that promotes and enforces the highest qualifications and standards in the areas of land, real estate, construction and infrastructure. As a public benefit organisation, it operates in all the world’s major financial hubs in delivering international standards and policy influence.

World Bank research predicts that Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP is set to grow from 4.2% in 2015 to 4.6% in 2016, and then rise to 5.0% in 2017. This points to the region out-performing many traditional markets and starting to match figures associated with India and China, as many countries in Sub-Saharan Africa hit 6-8% percent growth.

Comments Chetty: “Sub-Saharan Africa has seen unprecedented growth over the last decade, becoming one of the fastest growing regions in the world. While current global financial conditions may put a dampener on this growth, Sub-Saharan Africa’s emergence as the world’s next big consumer market will remain a huge positive force. The interest shown in the RICS Africa Summit 2016 is no surprise. We are set for some robust discussions around the challenges facing Sub-Saharan Africa, and importantly what can be done to overcome the challenges to ensure that opportunities are maximised.”

This year’s RICS Africa Summit keynote opening session by Stanlib’s Emerging Markets Economist Kganya Kgare – dubbed “Real estate outlook and sustainable investment” – will set the tone for conference deliberations. Kgare will speak about investment flows and economic factors that the property sector in the region will need to consider. He will look at Sub Saharan Africa’s current economic performance and sustaining desired growth, as well as zone in on where investment is coming from and where is it going.

Kgare will then join the first panel discussion of the Summit, which addresses strategies required for long term, sustainable investment in Sub Saharan Africa’s real estate market. The panel includes Neville Mandimika, Africa Analyst for Global Markets Research at Rand Merchant Bank and Anthony Lewis, Director for Sub-Saharan Africa Capital Markets at Jones Lang LaSalle.

Another highlight speaker is Ada Mwangola, Acting Director of Social and Political Pillars for Kenya Vision 2030, who will speak on industry best practice and integrating standards and professionalism. Mwangola will then join a panel debate on understanding the current market and those that stand to secure business opportunities. Other panelists will include Mark Walley, RICS’ Regional Managing Director, EMEA; Francois Viruly, Associate Professor at the University of Cape Town’s Department of Construction Economics and Management; and, Gasant Jacobs, Head of Business Development for Sub-Sahara Africa at Thomson Reuters.

The RICS Africa Summit 2016 will also have an interactive mini breakaway session for discussions around Sub Saharan solutions on land, property and the broader built environment. Other noteworthy speakers at the conference include Ruth Adams, Head of the Marine and Astronomical Team at the United Kingdom Hydrographic Office, who is a member of the RICS Global Land and Resources Strategy Board; Nnema Byrd, Investment Principal of Stanlib’s Africa Direct Property Development Fund; Peter Newmarch, President of the South African Geomatics Institute; and, Chris Williams-Wyn, Eastern Cape Surveyor-General of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform.

RICS Chief Executive Officer, Sean Tompkins, will also be joining deliberations at the Summit, together with Wafula Nabutola, RICS’ Director for Sub Saharan Africa, and several members of RICS’ global leadership. Gugulethu Cele, a seasoned financial broadcaster and anchor at CNBC Africa will chair proceedings at the Summit.

Chetty concludes: “The RICS Africa Summit is establishing itself as a key annual event on Sub Saharan Africa’s business calendar. With the calibre of speakers and attendees at this year’s Summit, it is certainly going to be insightful and put another spotlight on the growth story of this major region of Africa, as well as its future prosperity.”

New Generation Stores

Retail2The Rosmead store opening in Kenilworth is part of Pick n Pay’s Next Generation project to develop a new benchmark of supermarkets offering an improved shopping experience for customers, a more efficient store for staff and a better return for stakeholders. Open spaces,  “Hero” departments with more products in innovative packaging, and a stronger focus on fresh products will make shopping at these new stores even more convenient and enjoyable.

“An incredible amount of work has gone into these stores, taking the best of what Pick n Pay has developed and innovated over the past year. Their performance to date has been exceptional and we’re delighted at the feedback from our customers. These stores are definitely a game-changer,” said Adrian Naude, Pick n Pay’s Marketing Director.

Other Next Generation stores include Glengarry in Durbanville, Benmore in Gauteng and the new store in Blue Hills, Midrand.

“Our customers love the Fresh offering and the space,” said Adrian Naude, Pick n Pay’s Marketing Director “They have responded extremely well to the new layout, the easy navigation, the innovation in products and packaging and the feel of the store.”

The new Fresh Hall is the welcome card of the Next Generation store, while the dedicated destination areas help to show off Pick n Pay’s full range of offerings. “We’ve upped our Fresh offering with more products and faster replenishment, so that our customers get the freshest of fresh offerings, whether at the start of a busy day or on their way home.”

Offerings at Rosmead include the butchery, deli, fish and sushi section, cheese, wine, and coffee. Pick n Pay has also updated the packaging of the popular and trusted Private Label products with fresh, new labels and added more lines to its product list across all departments.

“Our Private Label brands No Name, PnP label  and Finest are looking great and customers can look forward to picking up a wide range of value-for-money, convenient and well-priced goods.  Look out for our new range of PnP Italian meals, including pizza, lasagnes, and pasta bakes that taste amazing and offer great value for money.”

retail1The product ranges have also been handpicked to match the needs of the community shopping at the Rosmead store, with many insights coming from Smart Shopper data on shopping trends in the area. Pick n Pay understands that its customers are busy, so the convenience range has been placed near the store entrance to make it even easier for busy customers to do a quick shop.

The brightly coloured stores have clear signage to help customers navigate the aisles more effectively. The till area has been updated to give customers a quicker checkout and cashiers a more efficient working space.

Improved technology in-store makes it easier to keep an eye on stock levels so that customers won’t have to wait for their favourite products to be replenished.

“In-store surveys have revealed that customers find the Next Generation stores far easier to shop, much neater and tidier, more spacious and they’ve noticed the improved service from our staff,” said Naude.

Exciting new stores and festive season fun at Mall of the North

Mall of the North is the place to be in Limpopo this festive season with late night shopping, great holiday activities and the addition of several fabulous new stores.

Exterior night picture of Mall of the North

Exterior night picture of Mall of the North

Keeping the young, and the young at heart entertained, Santa will be at Mall of the North until 24 December for some traditional festive season photos in the Game court.

The fun doesn’t end there as the spectacular and odd world of Ripley’s Believe It or Not is in South Africa for a signature tour and will be at Mall of the North from 19 December to 10 January. Ripley’s famous collection of oddities, anomalies and fanciful feats is sure to delight and surprise with not-to-be-missed fun.

In addition to great entertainment, the entire Mall of the North will be open for late night shopping on 18 December from 9am to 9pm, ensuring shoppers have plenty time to find that perfect gift for friends and loved ones. The day also marks the launch of Ripleys as well as face-painting and Christmas Carols at the mall.

Mall of the North is also thrilled about the recent opening of exciting new additions to its powerful retail line-up, just in time for the festive season. Keeping the fashion forward on trend is Australian brand Cotton On. While Kids by Foschini and Soda Bloc guarantee kids of all ages are kitted out in the coolest styles, also now open is Red Square, offering the latest beauty essentials and fragrances. Other new additions include Levingers dry cleaning and shoe repair services and the ever popular Twisp.

Sumari de Ridder, General Manager of Mall of the North, reports: “We are continuously working to increase our offering with new stores as well as keeping up with the significant demand from national and international brands to make Mall of the North their newest home”.

She adds: “We also strive to give customers great holiday activities for the whole family. This Christmas, there are even more fantastic reasons to come to the mall!”

Open seven days a week, Mall of the North is committed to bringing its customers the best in shopping and entertainment.

Pareto takes outright ownership of the iconic Menlyn Park Shopping Centre

Marius Muller, Pareto CEO - 3

Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto Limited.

The iconic Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria is now wholly-owned by Pareto Limited – South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and a leading retail property player with landmark assets across the country.

Pareto – which owned a 50% stake in the 125,248m² super-regional mall, last week took transfer of the remaining 50% stake from Old Mutual Life Assurance Company. This follows a landmark asset swap transaction with Old Mutual, announced in January (2015) involving Menlyn Park Shopping Centre and Cavendish Square in Cape Town. It also follows the deal getting approval from the Competition Commission earlier this year.

The two shopping centres have been equally owned by Pareto and Old Mutual for over five years. Together, these assets represent around R10 billion of prime retail property investment.

Marius Muller, CEO of Pareto, comments: “Pareto takes full ownership of Menlyn Park at an opportune time with the centre currently undergoing a major 50,000m², R2 billion expansion and refurbishment. The mega project, which is set to be complete in November 2016, will see Menlyn Park become not just the largest mall in South Africa, but one of the largest in Africa and in the southern hemisphere.”

He adds: “We are delighted to take transfer of the remaining stake of this flagship retail property. It bolsters Pareto’s position as the owner of trophy super-regional shopping centre properties across South Africa. With the major investment into Menlyn Park, it also is in line with Pareto’s strategy of adding value to our assets.”

Menlyn Park’s mega makeover and expansion is progressing well. When complete, it will feature an unrivalled retail and leisure offering of more than 500 stores, restaurants, entertainment and service offerings in SA’s burgeoning capital city.

Menlyn - Pareto 2Muller says: “The investment in Menlyn Park is retailer demand driven and will entrench its dominance as the leading shopping destination in Pretoria. The upgrade and expansion is well-timed to keep Menlyn Park contemporary and add to its mix of world-class retail.”

He adds: “Pareto is looking forward to completing the expansion and refurbishment next year. Menlyn Park will take its place as the flagship directly held supper-regional shopping centre in Pareto‘s portfolio. With Pareto now being the outright owner of Menlyn Park, the management of the centre will now fall under Pareto’s newly former property management company – Mowana Properties.

As South Africa’s premier shopping centre investor and one of the country’s leading retail property industry players, Pareto owns an unmatched portfolio of regional and super-regional shopping centres. Besides being the full owner of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in the East of Pretoria, Cresta Shopping Centre, Southgate Mall and Value Market, and Westgate Regional Shopping Centre, all in Gauteng; it also wholly owns The Pavilion in Durban; and Mimosa Mall in Bloemfontein. In Cape Town, Pareto co-owns Tyger Valley Shopping Centre. Pareto also holds 25% of Sandton City and its surrounding assets including three high-rise office blocks, the Sandton Convention Centre and three hotels: Sandton Sun, The InterContinental Johannesburg Sandton Towers and Sandton Garden Court.

Getting the festive season right in shopping malls

Lucille Louw - MD Atterbury Asset Managers

Lucille Louw, Managing Director of Atterbury Asset Managers

South Africa’s inland shopping malls could be in for pleasing festive season sales as a result of the country’s struggling economy, according to Managing Director of Atterbury Asset Managers, Lucille Louw. This is because fewer families can afford to take holidays this year.

Even so, Louw says malls in SA’s traditional coastal holiday destinations are still positioned to benefit most from the festive season spend, as the country’s disposable income holders migrate to the coastline of South Africa for their annual summer holiday.

Louw explains the festive season can be somewhat of a catch-22 for shopping centres. While they compete to attract as many shoppers as possible, the more people inside a mall, the shorter they stay and the less they spend.

“One of the biggest challenges over the holiday season is to ensure a festive atmosphere, but balancing this so malls don’t begin to feel too busy and overcrowded,” says Louw. “Malls that feel overfull become unpleasant for shoppers, who are likely to buy only what they came for, and not spend extra time browsing and making impulse buys.”

This means that malls are under pressure to get their festive attractions, entertainment and displays just right this year.

To avoid their shopping centres feeling overcrowded, Louw says Atterbury Asset Managers focus on offering longer shopping hours. This helps retailers to make the best of the festive season by trading longer. It also gives customers more, and more enjoyable, time to shop and spend.

“We use Christmas décor, rather than holiday activity programmes that take up precious mall floor space, to create a festive atmosphere,” says Louw.

Atterbury Asset Managers is responsible for the strategic management of assets across several prestigious property portfolios including those of Atterbury Property Holdings, Attacq, AttAfrica and Atterbury Europe. This includes leasing, marketing and investment strategies as well as retail mix and overseeing property managers, to maximise the value of assets.

Louw comments: “We were all hoping for the economy to start recovering by now, but it continues to struggle to show any growth. For retailers, 2015 has been a difficult year,”

In line with the trend throughout the rest of the year, Louw anticipates that 2015 festive season retail sales are likely to increase on last year, although only slightly.

However, on an upbeat note, Louw says: “The festive season always has a positive impact on retailers, not only because of increased sales, but also thanks to the positive outlook that retailers adopt at this time of year, stocking up and preparing for the festive season.”