Construction time

New malls and mergers are revitalising SA retail

Chichi Maponya

Township Stock Exchange to come online

This year, investors and local based entrepreneurs can look forward to a township stock exchange intended to formalise and transform the township economy economy. According to Premier David Makhura, the economic boost will amount to an estimated R10 billion a year.

The initiative forms of part of the provincial government’s strategy to revitalize and mainstream the township economy.

This year, investors and local based entrepreneurs can look forward to a township stock exchange intended to formalise and transform the township economy economy.

According to chairperson of 4 Africa Exchange, Chichi Maponya, even though the informal township economy is worth billions, mainstream business often fails to recognize its importance. The township stock exchange is designed to change this state of affairs.

As Maponya explains, "The stock exchange is geared for the retail market which means it is the ordinary consumers and it's because currently there are barriers to entry."

She says the board of six members so far are currently looking for businesses to list.

The stock exchange was licensed at the end of August after a public comment process; the board of six has been looking for businesses to list.

According to Premier Makhura,  R6 billion has been allocated to stimulate township-based businesses.

 R1bn supermall opens in Thohoyandou August 2017

Thohoyandou in Limpopo will have its first fully enclosed, double-storey, air-conditioned regional mall when it opens on 24 August 2017. Thavhani Mall, a R1bn project, will have over 134 shops, restaurants and service outlets in a 50 000 sqm development.

Thavhani Mall’s anchor tenants will be Woolworths, Edgars, Pick n Pay and SuperSpar. They will be joined by popular national retail brands, starting with Foschini, Truworths and Mr Price.

New retailers entering the region include Woolworths Food, as part of a large Woolworths store, McDonald's, Mr Price Sport, Hi-Fi Corp, Pep Home, House & Home, The Hub, Rochester, DMF, Torga Optical, D&H Milner, Spur, Panarottis, Queenspark, Donna Claire, Mr Price Home, Bogart Man, Green Cross, Sneakers, Hard Hats, Relay and Arthur Ford Perfume.

Seven years ago, local businessman Khosi Ramovha of Thavhani Property Investments had the vision for a regional mall in Thohoyandou. To drive his vision forward, he collaborated with South African shopping centre developers and investors, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment. JSE-listed REIT Vukile Property Fund has also committed to the partnership with a one-third stake in Thavhani Mall that will transfer when the mall is complete.

Paul Gerard, MD of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development and Investment, a shareholder in Thavhani Property Investments, says, “Thohoyandou is an attractive trade area but up to now, there has not been a suitable trading platform for these new brands in the area or for existing brands to expand. Now, with Thavhani Mall, more consumers will be able to satisfy their retail needs locally.”

Highlighting the impact the mall will have on the local economy, Ramovha, head of Thavhani Property Investments, says, “The mall will give local communities the biggest selection of shopping and leisure retail in the region and offer it in a way they have never before enjoyed. That is only the beginning. The mall is also creating jobs and is expected to boost further development in the area, making it an incredibly important project.”

Thavhani Mall is a key element of the Thavhani City urban precinct mega development that is on the rise across a 27ha site in Thohoyandou. Thavhani City is a modern mixed-use precinct that will also include the Thavhani Office Park, a motor-city and private healthcare facilities as well as a library, community centre, information centre, and the 40 000-capacity Thohoyandou Stadium.

The mall is easy for shoppers to access, whether they are from Thohoyandou and its surrounds. Well placed on the R524, with direct links to Louis Trichardt and Punda Maria, Thavhani Mall is right on the main crossroads with major north-south links to Sibasa and Giyani respectively.

The mall opens on 24 August 2017 and it is 85% let.

Retails springs to life in Springs

Springs Mall, a R950m joint venture investment by Blue Crane Eco Mall, Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment, REIT Vukile Property Fund and Murinda Investments, will open on 16 March 2017.

When the 48 000 sqm mall opens next year, it will become the only major mall in Springs, Ekurhuleni, in the east of Gauteng.

“For many years, the vision of the Springs-based D’Arrigo family to develop a major mall for Springs seemed an impossibility. In less than six months, it will become a reality,” says Paul Gerard of Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment. “What’s more, it has become a shared vision with retailers and the community also invested in the mall, and we are all very excited for its public launch.”

In anticipation of its opening, the mall is already almost full, with some 96% of retail space let. Anchor tenants at Springs Mall include leading national retailers Woolworths, Checkers, Pick n Pay and Edgars. These retailing giants are supported by a comprehensive line-up of retail brands, concepts and leisure options – both big names and one-off treasures – with plenty to please everyone.

Destined to become a dominant mall in the region, the new Springs Mall benefits from excellent access off the N17 highway and Wit and Jan Smuts Roads. In addition, as part of the mall’s development, its owners have also invested in major improvements to the roads around the mall, which will benefit all road users.

Gerard reports that, in addition to this new infrastructure, with the opening of Springs Mall, people will not only have a top-notch new venue in which to fulfil their shopping needs, but also a vibrant place to meet, unwind and be entertained.

Steinhoff's African units to merge with Shoprite to become Retail Africa

Shoprite and the African operations of Steinhoff are to be merged into a new group called Retail Africa, major shareholders of both retailers, Christo Wiese and the Public Investment Corporation (PIC), announced in December.

The deal will result in Shoprite acquiring Steinhoff's clothing chains, which include Pep, Ackermans, Shoe City and Tekkie Town, in exchange for shares.

Shoprite will also buy the furniture and appliance retailers that Steinhoff owns via JD Group. These include Russells, Bradlows, Rochester, Incredible Connection, Hi-fi Corporation and Sleepmasters. Furthermore, Shoprite will acquire Steinhoff's hardware chains Buco, Pennypinchers, Timbercity and Hardware Warehouse.

Retail Africa would be the continent's largest retailer with an annual turnover of R200bn, employing 186 000 people, it was noted in Wednesday's statement said.

Steinhoff proposes to acquire Wiese's Shoprite shares, held in a company called Titan, and those of the PIC in exchange for Steinhoff shares at a ratio still to be agreed. The deal is likely to trigger a mandatory offer to Shoprite shareholders who will be offered Steinhoff shares at the same ratio as Wiese and the PIC will receive.

The share price of the target company, Shoprite, jumped 3.2% to R199 while Steinhoff's fell 5.5% to R71.83 after the announcement.

"It is expected that the proposed transaction will further enhance Retail Africa's position as an employer of choice and it is also anticipated that the proposed transaction will not result in any job losses. The combined group's growth plans could lead to future job creation in various countries," the statement read.

Checkers launches Banting Revolution range

Checkers is the first major South African supermarket to develop a private label, banting-friendly range, called “Banting Revolution”.

Each of the 32 products contains less than 5% carbohydrate per serving. The extensive range includes everything from carb conscious pork sausages (high in fat and gluten free); cauliflower mash (made with real butter and ready in minutes) and three different flavoured sparkling waters (sugar- and preservative free).

It has a bread mix (gluten- and sugar-free); almond flour and coconut flour (both gluten free) and the sugar-free alternatives, stevia and xylitol. It also includes an apple cider vinegar, which has become a kitchen staple thanks to its wide-ranging health benefits, and psyllium husks, an increasingly popular food supplement.

The first 22 Banting Revolution products will be available in Checkers and Checkers Hyper stores nationwide, with more products to follow early in the new year.