Battle of the malls

Not all shopping centres are born equal, a fact that is becoming abundantly clear as JSE-listed mall owners try to navigate what is turning out to be a bumpy road to recovery, according to Business Day.

Highlights of the article include:

  • SA’s retail property sector has been hard hit by on-off lockdown trading restrictions for the past 18 months
  • Riots inKwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng further impacted spending
  • Retail spending rebounded noticeably in the first half of 2021
  • Total sales volumes across SA for January to June are up 12.8% year-on-year in rand terms
  • Sales volumes have surpassed (pre-Covid) 2019 levels by 0.9%
  • There has been a steady recovery in foot count and turnovers in many malls
  • Rental collection rates are steadily returning to pre-Covid levels
  • Shopping centre performance is increasingly diverging according to location, size, demographic exposure and retail segments
  • Nonmetropolitan malls are outperforming their large-format counterparts in urban areas
  • Large-format shopping centres in the major cities will “by and large” continue to face challenges until Covid-related social distancing and other lockdown measures end and South Africans fully resume leisure pursuits
  • Super-regional malls also have limited choice in terms of finding tenants to fill empty space


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