Cresta’s new “family room oasis”

Cresta Shopping Centre’s state-of-the-art family room facility sets it apart from any other shopping mall in the country

Cresta’s new “family room oasis”

Cresta Shopping Centre recently launched an oasis for parents and their little ones at an intimate breakfast setting in the lower level of their newly renovated food and entertainment court.

This state-of-the-art family room facility sets the Centre apart from any other shopping mall in the country.

In the picturesque, clean setting of the family room oasis you will find well-appointed rooms with lockers, pram and trolley stations, a kitchenette with microwave ovens to warm up bottles or food, an interactive playroom with toys, a nappy changing room with comfortable changing stations and dedicated basins, a family bathroom and the much-coveted breastfeeding room complete with rocking chair .

Nikki Bush shared her “10 Commandments When Taking Your Children Shopping” with the audience

The breakfast launch was hosted by content producer, presenter and mom of two, Kim Jansen and featured a special keynote address by renowned parenting expert, author, motivational speaker, regular TV and radio guest presenter Nikki Bush. Bush who is co-author of three best-selling books: Future-proof Your Child, Easy Answers to Awkward Questions and Tech-Savvy Parenting, enthralled the audience with her latest on The 10 Commandments When Taking Your Children Shopping.

Virginia Bester, General Manager of Cresta Shopping Centre explains: “In a world where everything is on the go and digitized and parents are becoming more mindful of being present with their children, we saw the creation of this beautiful family room as more than just a facility, but rather as a parent-shopper’s dream.”

The family room oasis is the perfect retreat within the centre for parents to feed their babies, change nappies, or offer them a clean and beautifully decorated area to take a break from shopping. The new facility definitely sets a new standard.

“We know that the family room oasis will make it a little bit easier for parents and caregivers to connect with their children on their shopping days out,” says Bester.

Boasting over 250 stores and an immense variety of quality offerings, and a newly launched three level Food and Entertainment Court which includes over 25 local and international restaurants encompassing fast food and casual dining as well as cinemas, bingo, and entertainment offerings, and now the family room oasis, Cresta Shopping Centre knows that parents will enjoy their experiences at the Centre a little bit more with the benefit this safe haven offers them and their little ones.

“We are passionate about making sure our customers are able to shop in a pleasant, safe and secure environment at Cresta shopping Centre and that is why every step of our renovation process is so carefully thought through keeping our shoppers’ needs at the heart of everything that we do,” concludes Bester.

SA’s malls set to enjoy fair trade this festive season… and a bright future

SA’s malls set to enjoy fair trade this festive season… and a bright future

This holiday season is likely to ring in fair festive retail sales despite 2016’s frail and fickle economy. In fact, this December’s retail trade could well be an improvement on last year.

Paul Gerard

This is the word from Paul Gerard of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, the leading shopping centre developer and retail leasing specialists.

Even with the current political volatility, macroeconomic indicators favour the festive trading season in 2016,” says Gerard.

His careful optimism is driven by the performance of retailers in Flanagan & Gerard’s shopping centre portfolio, which show better growth than figures published for the industry.

Established in 2001, Flanagan and Gerard has been involved in developing many dominant regional shopping centres and high-end niche community centres across South Africa, working with various joint-venture partners. Noted retail developments under its belt include Vaal Mall, Paarl Mall, Mall of the North, Middelburg Mall, Highveld Mall, Heidelberg Mall, Eyethu Orange Farm Mall, Morningside Shopping Centre and Nicolway Bryanston, among others.

It also has an impressive trio of exciting new retail property developments set to open shortly.

The world-class Springs Mall at Blue Crane Eco Park in Ekurhuleni, on Gauteng’s East Rand, opens on 16 March 2017. At 48 000 mit will be the only major mall in its region. It is a joint venture between Flanagan & Gerard, Blue Crane Eco Mall (Pty) Ltd, JSE-listed retail focused SA REIT Vukile Property Fund and Murinda Investments, which is part of the Giuricich Bros Group.

The spectacular 80 000 m2 Ballito Junction Regional Mall redevelopment on KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast will open on 23 March 2017 with 200-plus shops. It is owned and developed by Flanagan & Gerard with Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings.

The highly anticipated 50,000sqm regional Thavhani Mall at Thavhani City in Thohoyandou, Limpopo, opens on 24 August 2017. Flanagan & Gerard is developer and shareholder in Thavhani Property Investments, responsible for the leasing and development of the mall. Vukile Property Fund has also secured a one-third stake in this mall, which will transfer on its completion.

Gerard notes that 2016 has given consumers plenty of new retail space, especially in the Gauteng region, and boosted their choices with new international brands.

This festive season, he believes people will spend mostly on first-order goods, such as food, pharmaceuticals, services and clothing. In contrast, furniture and other discretionary purchases are likely to be least appealing to shoppers.

Dominant regional shopping centres are best poised to attract spend,” reports Gerard who cautions that, even so, trading success relies strongly on a shopping centre’s relevance.

Shopping centres that successfully compete for market share are those deeply rooted in their communities. They offer a mix of shopping, services and leisure that accurately reflect the community or region they serve. They also take part in more community involvement,” says Gerard.

Adding the seasonal bells and whistles to a festive shopping experience can also help support good holiday trade. Gerard says: “Décor itself plays a small part in driving festive trade. People are generally aspirational and favour shopping environments that are more elegant and engaging. Depending on the community in which a mall is located, entertainment can contribute to promoting festive spend.”

As for online shopping, he notes that it still plays a very small role, and only in higher-income areas within metropolitans, so it won’t have a significant impact on bricks-and-mortar retail this summer.

Beyond the festive season, Gerard’s outlook for retail property in 2017 is positive as the shopping centre industry continues to advance.

As the information revolution continues, the shopping centre mix evolves. Service-based retail will continue to become more prominent. In addition, multichannel and omnichannel retailing will become more prevalent. Retailers will offer all forms of shopping and do so in a more integrated way. For example, offering online shopping with click-and-collect options from bricks-and-mortar stores.”

Fanfare as Menlyn Park Shopping Centre opens

Fanfare as Menlyn Park Shopping Centre opens

Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria celebrated the fruits of two years of hard work by staging a magnificent party in December to relaunch the popular mall, now the biggest in Africa following a R2-billion makeover. “It was wonderful to see the centre in its final splendour, and to begin this new exciting chapter with our tenants, loyal customers and friends,” said Olive Ndebele, general manager of the shopping centre.

Malose Kekana, group CEO of Pareto Holdings

The launch party was held in the mall’s Central Park, which is planted with picturesque trees and encircled by trendy restaurants, and is the perfect place to enjoy long, warm summer evenings. Guests were entertained by popular musicians and delectable food from Ocean Basket and Hard Rock Café.

Olive Ndebele (photo: Pretoria East Rekord)

Retailer and shopper demand was the driving force behind the giant makeover, which has created a total lettable floor space of over 170 000 m2.

Gauteng transport MEC Dr Ismail Vadi lauded the shopping centre for its integral transport facilities and involvement in the Bus Rapid Transport system to commence early next year. Malose Kekana, group CEO of Pareto Holdings, the owners of Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, thanked everyone for making the 500-store mall – now a one-stop destination for all shopping needs and entertainment for the whole family – into a centre to be proud of, while Olive Ndebele was on hand to share all the milestones that were reached through the redevelopment: “We’re so excited to have accomplished this momentous task, and to have turned Menlyn Park Shopping Centre into a place to enjoy all year round,” she said.

We’ve put together a fantastic tenant mix that caters to all our shoppers,” says. The centre attracts residents of all the surrounding and outlying suburbs of Pretoria, a large contingent of foreign businesspeople, diplomats and holidaymakers, and keen shoppers from other African countries, such as Nigeria and Mozambique, where big-name items are hard to find.”

Among the established anchor tenants and top international brands making Menlyn Park their home are on-trend fashion drawcards such as Zara clothing, Fabiani menswear and H&M Clothing. “Menlyn Park is the leading shopping destination in Pretoria and we’re proud to be bringing our customers value through fashion, quality and sustainability at the best price,” says Amelia-May Woudstra, public relations manager for H&M Clothing.

Menlyn Park Shopping Centre introduced a large, accessible grocery section during one of the two phases of the redevelopment, anchor tenants Checkers Hyper, Food Lovers Market, New World Discount Stores and Pick n Pay were introduced. “I love the fact that I can get all my monthly groceries from a variety of stores in the same area,” explains Sarah van Zyl, a frequent shopper at Menlyn Park Shopping Centre.

Another major drawcard within Menlyn is Central Park, an open-air piazza surrounded by beautiful Pride of India trees and edged with popular restaurants.

Ndebele says that Menlyn Park will reaffirm its place as the number-one destination in Pretoria for the best entertainment and shopping all year round, with special offers, events and pop-up sales and stores to cater for the whole family.

For the Christmas season, the mall offers three pop-up gift-wrapping stations, with complimentary snacks, and all proceeds going to the Smile Foundation. Extended shopping hours are 09h00 to 21h00 daily, and 09h00 to 17h00 on public holidays. Menlyn Park Shopping Centre has parking for over 8 200 vehicles.

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.”