Fourways Mall, sized at 178 000 m2, may be the largest shopping centre in Africa with a huge mix of tenants for shoppers to visit, but since it was revamped, customers have not exactly embraced it.
As the mall wasn’t planned in a single phase and has been added to gradually, customers have had to become accustomed to each change. The latest revamp was completed just before the pandemic broke and now that the mall is fully functional with Covid-19 restrictions having been lifted, some shoppers are complaining of how easily they are getting lost.
This is unlike Mall of Africa which was planned and built in one phase. Each exit and entrance is clearly parked as is each section of the mall.
Accelerate, which has a majority stake in the centre, is running marketing campaigns to encourage new shoppers to enjoy a varied shopping experience which is hard to replicate elsewhere across SA. The landlord is in talks with KidZania, a Mexican children’s entertainment provider. The privately-owned international chain includes indoor family entertainment centres which are located in around 30 locations worldwide. Children role play adult jobs and earn currency. KidZania’s locations receive around 9-million visitors per year. Initially, KidZania was set to open following the revamp.
In June Accelerate reported that Fourways Mall is gradually enjoying the return of customers and trade is improving.
“The refurbished centre opened just three months before the first wave of Covid-19 hit but its trading continues to improve, with year-on-year growth of 16% and 90% occupancy as House & Home, Pep Home and others moved in,” it said.
Accelerate’s portfolio is valued at about R10bn. It earns more than half of its revenue from large national tenants or national listed tenants split across retail, commercial offices and industrial assets.
Its chief operating officer, Andrew Costa said the fund would continue to focus on investing in nodes where its assets could complement one another.
Costa said Fourways Mall serves a large community of people in the Fourways suburb and surrounds. Analyst say it take a couple of years for a super regional centre to perform at an optimal level.