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Young entrepreneurs dream big with Home Africa

By Sowetan Live | 2016-11-23 15:11:32.0

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Two young entrepreneurs, Nicholas Tan and Catherine Lingyi Li, are turning the famous Highgate into Africa’s only home and decor mall, named Home Africa.

Home Africa will be the first one stop wholesale distribution hub for construction and home-related products.

27, year old, Tan says the mall being the first of its kind in the country and continent as a whole as well as its unique offering will make a good value proposition to businesses and consumers.

“We had the benefit of converting Highgate Mall into this fantastic mall that is a one-stop for everyone. We have all home and décor products, from construction to home-related products,” he says.

He is also not concerned about recent growing concerns about an over-saturated retail market due to other ongoing shopping malls.

Over the past 10 years, to the end of 2015, retail property delivered an annualised total return (income and capital growth) of a substantial 16%, as measured by MSCI’s independent property databank index.

However, ongoing pressure on consumer spending amid SA’s ever-growing pool of new shopping-centres is starting to eat into profit margins.

 “The response to Home of Africa has been phenomenal in terms of people seeking occupation. This is the only mall of its kind in South Africa. We will have 250 international and local brands, 2000 jobs will be created and mall products will be 30% lower than in other malls,” he says.

Small businesses in the construction sector are also set to receive a massive boost through discounted prices on materials.

SMEs will also receive assistance on product sourcing, price negotiations, quality control and supply chain costs with Chinese suppliers.

Buy n Build, the international building materials supplier, is investing R500m and will anchor the new Home Africa mall.