Tight economy spares large malls

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

Dominant regional shopping centres are enjoying healthy growth rates, despite reports of slowed wholesale and retail trade sales.

Flanagan and Gerard Property Group executive director and founder Patrick Flanagan, said regional centres 40000 square metres or more in size, would not be hit too hard by economic declines and would not have any significant tenant vacancy rates.

Flanagan said examples of dominant regional players included Cape Town's Canal Walk and Tiger Valley; Johannesburg's Sandton City, Eastgate Mall and Menlyn, and KwaZulu-Natal's Pavilion and Gateway shopping centres.

He said: "Where there is a slowdown or concern are the discretionary shopping exposed centres such as furniture, motor cars and household appliances.

"The dominant centres are protected or sheltered from these factors because their main focus would be on fashion, food, and other services."

Kashmir Singh, centre manager for the Greenstone Shopping Centre in Edenvale (launched in April last year), said retailers reported good sales from 2007 to 2008 despite load shedding and a retail climate strained with high inflation and interest rates, affecting their customer base.