Middelburg Mall may be a newcomer to the South African retail scene, but it has already attracted over three-million shoppers since it opened in April this year, and retailers are reporting excellent trading densities across the board.
With this level of success, it is little wonder that Middelburg Mall Centre Manager Mike Tammadge has a positive outlook for retail, both in South Africa and at Middelburg Mall.
In fact, with the mall’s longer holiday shopping hours, he is expecting a record turnout this festive season.
Tammadge says: “Retail sales in South Africa continue to growth year-on-year by an average 6.4%. Looking at specific categories, textiles, clothing and footwear should continue to trade well. For the festive season, fashion always trades strongly followed closely by consumables.”
The shopping mall has a valuable role in society, believes Tammadge, which remains strong and relevant, despite online buying trends.
However, Tammadge believes that retailers must embrace new technologies. “It’s a case of do or die. Right now, it’s a combination of mall shopping and easy access to product information online that is working.”
“Shopping online is increasing in South Africa. This is confirmed by the number of major retailers embracing it. However shoppers continue to support mall-shopping more than ever,” says Tammadge. “Today’s shoppers want to have the choice and the shopping experience. When it comes to experience, malls offer much more. They are a place to interact with products in a pleasant environment.”
The continued growth of the retail centre sector validates this.
“The shopping experience is critical and at Middelburg Mall we recognise this,” says Tammadge. Middelburg Mall created a festive experience with its charming Christmas Decor, which is extensive by most standards.
“It been well received by shoppers and retailers alike. It’s Middelburg Mall’s first Christmas and we felt that a traditional theme was definitely the way to go,” says Tammadge.
He also stresses that it is important for a mall to interact with its community, like Children’s entertainment, which Middelburg Mall is dishing up a-plenty this festive season.
“The impact of a shopping mall on a community is far-reaching,” says Tammadge. “With Middelburg Mall, it was the catalyst behind the extensive construction taking place in Middelburg area. A development boom is underway in Middelburg across retail, industrial, commercial and residential property. We are proud to be part of this thriving community.”
For Middelburg Mall, the positive retail sales trend and its growing community will both drive trading success. “The continued growth in foot traffic will ensure that retail targets will be met and mostly exceeded, this festive season,” says Tammadge.