‘Going to the mall’ in South Africa has become a lifestyle activity as well as a shopping necessity. But for how long can we keep building new malls and expanding existing ones?
This is one of the questions examined by a cover story in the August-September 2016 issue of the ‘IMM Journal of Strategic Marketing’. The story analyses the country’s strong mall-based consumer culture.
Recognised malls (30 000 sq. m and up) in SA now number more than 160, with a combined retail space of over 8,5-million sq. m – one of the highest in the world. Two decades ago SA had only 36 malls with a combined retail space of 1,9-million sq. m.
Given the frenetic pace of mall development, the question is: has the sector reached saturation?
The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’. “You have to look at supply on an area-by-area basis,” says property analyst Neil Stuart-Findlayson. “Pretoria, Klerksdorp and Port Elizabeth are examples of oversupply.”
Where new malls are not being built, existing ones are expanding. The 36-year-old Menlyn Park Shopping Centre in Pretoria East is an example. It is adding 50 000 sq. m which will take it to 178 000 sq. m.
Looking at the long-term potential for malls, research firm Urban Studies is optimistic. Population growth and increasing disposable income will drive demand for an additional 1,5-million to 2-million sq. m of retail space over the next eight to 10 years, it predicts.
Right now, though, the pace of mall development is falling sharply, with major mall owner Redefine Properties confirming it has shelved two developments due to inadequate returns and concerns about waning consumer demand.
Also in the August-September issue of the magazine is an analysis of the brandy industry’s urgent need to rebrand itself, a breakthrough in the measurement of out-of-home media, and a look at brand strategies in the franchise sector.
Published five times a year by the Institute of Marketing Management, the ‘IMM Journal of Strategic Marketing’ is available in print and digital formats and is read by professional marketers and those working in related fields, as well as business executives and IMM students.
The print edition sold in selected CNA and Exclusive Books outlets, or is available via subscription. Copies are also distributed through a targeted professional mailing list and through selected airline lounges and the IMM Graduate School’s student support centres.