Retail property has made a strong positive contribution to South Africa’s growth in recent years, with numerous new shopping malls completed – each ploughing investment in the economy, creating jobs and crafting retail assets and social hubs for their communities.
Gavin Tagg of Retail Network Services, who has helped deliver many successful shopping centre developments, believes that there are still opportunities for shopping centres in 2015.
Tagg highlights five dominant trends for retail property in 2015:
1. Caution: A cautious approach is needed by retailers and retail developers in the year ahead. “It’s essential to have sound retail development basics in place to ensure the success of a new shopping centre in this flat-growth, rising-interest economy,” he notes.
2. Know-how: With high stakes, a proven track record of delivery is essential and new retail schemes should be left to experienced developers.
3. Rural shopping centres: There are still huge opportunities for rural retail in South Africa. Tagg warns that a rural retail development must have all the fundamentals in place to stand up to the same tests which would apply to a mall in an urban environment.
4. Better retail: International retailers entering the South African market will put pressure on local retailers to be more competitive. The new wave of retail competition is improving choice, pricing and the overall retail experience for shoppers.
5. Listening to consumers: There’s renewed focus on customers’ wants which will become a critical consideration in planning retail centres.
Among Retail Network Services’ current projects, it has successfully completed the leasing of Tugela Ferry Shopping Centre – the first in this underserviced area and scheduled to open in 2015.