Shopping malls remain more profitable for big brands


Shopping centres are being expanded, renovated and some newly built across South Africa, with projects like Fourways Mall more than doubling in size to an awesome 178 000 sq/m, but malls are no longer just about shopping, they’re all about convenience, entertainment, and experiences for the whole family.

The growth in online sales in some markets like electronics and fashion, has had an immense impact on retailers in those verticals, consumers have greater expectations of brick and mortar stores than ever before. Store-based retailing remains more profitable for big brands and McKinsey research highlights that successful malls will differentiate their offerings with a focus on experience and convenience, and they will have to explore new formats of shopping and entertainment.

That’s where shoppertainment comes in – a blend of shopping and entertainment that takes the drudge out of shopping and spices it up with a variety of entertainment options that appeal to the whole family.

In a city like Johannesburg, without an ocean or a mountain to offer outdoor entertainment, destinations that can provide leisure and entertainment options are increasingly popular – the proliferation of restaurants with expansive play areas is but one example of how businesses have evolved to increase customer dwell time.

Anchor tenants that draw foot traffic are still key, however the move towards experiential shopping implies the need for a far broader tenant mix, including luxury brands where shoppers want to have a sensory experience before they buy, and novel independent stores that cannot be experienced anywhere else.

Another way to enhance shoppers’ experience is to create themed zones within the mall, such as a food court or entertainment zone, a specialised fashion zone, or even a home interest zone. Carefully planning the way that these zones are linked also helps shoppers navigate their way through expansive malls and helps them plot the time they spend in each section to make the most of their experience.

The multi-billion development currently underway at Fourways Mall, is transforming the centre into South Africa’s ultimate shoppertainment destination that celebrates experiences, relationships and adaptable spaces. Several exciting venues within the property have already opened in line with its strategy of creating an unprecedented family-oriented shopping experience, with others to follow towards the end of the year and early in 2019.


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