New Ballito Junction Mall ready to trade despite dwindling consumer spending
The much-awaited Ballito Junction Mall located in KwaZulu-Natal's North Coast holiday town of Ballito, will be opening to the public on Thursday, March 23 despite other Mall Owners feeling the pinch amid dwindling consumer spending.
The mall is the extensive expansion of an existing 10,000sqm shopping centre to an 80,000sqm modern mega-mall. It is owned and developed by Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and Flanagan & Gerard Property Development & Investment.
With a complete choice of over 200 shops and restaurants, the Mall is nestled between the old M4 highway and the new N2 highway.
“While it offers variety, every single shop at Ballito Junction has been specially chosen to meet the specific shopping needs of the permanent population of the area.” says Carl Jankowitz, director at Menlyn Maine.
From its magnificent six-metre-high feature window, Ballito Junction’s Urban Eatery looks out to the north over the undeveloped green parklands of Simbithi Eco-Estate and beyond that, on a clear day, to the beautiful Indian Ocean.
“Over and above its uniquely refreshing setting, the urban Eatery will offer a compelling array of extraordinary experiences. It is packed full of new names, unique attractions, retail firsts for its region and flagship offerings,” reports Pat Flanagan, co-chairman of Flanagan & Gerard.
Empty malls hurt Property Investors
The drive to revamp existing malls and open new ones in SA will continue this year‚ potentially leaving listed property stocks over exposed to retail.
Property stocks may well still be reporting stronger results than many of their JSE-listed retail tenants. But even mall owners are starting to feel the pinch amid dwindling consumer spend, growing competition from new shopping centres and retailers cutting back on store space.
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Property stocks with sizeable shopping centre portfolios — including Growthpoint Properties, Hyprop Investments, Resilient Reit, Fortress Income Fund, SA Corporate Real Estate Fund, Vukile Property Fund and Fairvest — have, in recent weeks, all reported inflation-beating dividend growth for their respective December reporting periods. Hyprop (16.6%), Resilient (16.2%) and Fairvest (9.6%) have impressed with above-market increases.
However, when one looks only at the underlying performance of local retail portfolios, the picture looks less rosy.
Granted, there hasn’t yet been a noticeable change in some performance metrics, such as vacancies or rental arrears. But there’s no doubt that trading densities (turnover/m²) are under increased pressure, particularly in malls faced with new competition. That’s despite many centres reporting a spike in sales in November on the back of successful Black Friday campaigns.
The Labour Department has called on social partners to assist government in finding solutions to the issue of youth unemployment in the country. ... Full story