Friday, May 24, 2024


Poised for Transformation

The Africa retail market is experiencing a transformative phase, which is marked by a combination of economic growth, demographic shifts and technological advancements. Over the coming pages, RLI will take a look at the world’s second-largest and second-most populous continent and highlights its major shopping centre and mixed-use destinations, which are bringing the market into the focus of shoppers and developers from around the world more than ever before.

Africa is home to more than one billion people which present a massive potential consumer market which is just beginning to be tapped into. The African retail market is set to boom in the next decade driven by a rapidly expanding middle, the emergence and wider adoption of technologies and the operationalisation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

Separately, the demand for data centres is also soaring across countries like South Africa and throughout the continent as the world progresses towards a more interconnected and automated future. With the rise in online retail, catalysed largely by the pandemic, requirements for data centres have flourished across the continent.

Here we spend some time looking at the best physical destinations the continent currently has to offer as well as pointing out what is in the development pipeline moving forward. Read on to learn more about this evolving retail landscape…

Project Across the Continent

Africa 1

Maspero Mall is an upcoming unique destination for retail and lifestyle experiences in the heart of Cairo by developers City Edge Developments. Situated in Maspero Triangle, Maspero Mall is an icon of downtown Cairo offering unforgettable shopping experiences, delicious cuisines and a variety of distractions that will leave you entertained. Drawing on a heritage that stretches back thousands of years, Maspero Mall seeks to mark a new era of modern experiences to delight future generations ahead. Maspero Mall is designed to offer extraordinary experiences in the heart of Cairo. Its wide range of retail and lifestyle attractions spread out across 28 commercial units spanning 75sq m to 1,057sq m. Welcoming thousands of visitors from this year, the commercial area provides plenty of parking spaces, helping guests move around easily, leaving no room for traffic jams. As a thriving commercial destination, Maspero Mall will ensure memorable experiences for everyone through state-of-the-art services and facilities.

Tarboul Industrial City by developers GV Developments will occupy a space of 109 million square metres serving the purpose of sustainable production in a multi-core industrial city that combines an unprecedented mix of industrial activities, modern services, logistic facilities, administrative buildings, commercial outlets, workforce housing and social services. The industrial city is said to be aligned with Egypt’s 2030 Vision across various aspects including creating integrated and sustainable ecosystems, improving the quality of life and living standards of Egyptians, creating a competitive and diversified economy and more.

Africa 2

Nile Business City is set to become the second tallest skyscraper in Egypt, the tallest vertical city in Africa and the third tallest tower in Africa when it opens its doors by developer Nile Developments in 2025. Within this new city will be Nile City Center, which is set to be the largest tourist and entertainment mall. It is located directly in the middle of the Green River on the northern Bin Zayed axis, with an area of 60,000sq m and a facade width of 200m on the Green River. Three main entrances to the mall have been designed on the Green River, which is considered one of the most important features of Nile City Center Mall, which provides its customers with everything they could wish for and more.

Africa 3

The Le Carrousel development is the brainchild of UAE-headquartered Developer: Imkan Maroc, and Le Carrousel Art Hotel will be joined by residential, retail and entertainment elements across a coastal site of over 100,000sq m. Within the first project of its kind on the Moroccan capital’s corniche, the hotel will be located on the edge of the site’s cultural park, the starting point of the resort’s promenade. The five-star boutique property will house 132 rooms and suites, and will include a lounge on a terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, a rooftop restaurant, a gourmet eatery, meeting rooms, a ballroom, a wellness centre and a vernissage/art exhibition area. Elsewhere on the site, the Le Carrousel complex’s open air mall will house 120 shops, while the 500sq m promenade will welcome a further 40 shops. Also onsite will be two parks and 12,000sq m of offices, restaurants and cafés. A secure residential component will consist of 246 apartments on the sea side and 56 apartments on the office side.

Sonae Sierra has consolidated its presence in Morocco with the management of the new shopping centre Aeria Mall, which promises to be a landmark in the new heart of Casablanca (Casa Anfa) in Morocco after opening its doors on 1 March last year by developer Anfa Realties. With 25,000sq m of Gross Leasable Area (GLA), Aeria Mall is part of the Casa Anfa mixed-use project, which also includes offices and a residential component, which will create more than 3,000 jobs in the region. Aeria Mall is a proximity shopping centre, distinguished by 93 stores, including a Marjane supermarket and national and international brand stores in the world of ready-to-wear, fashion accessories, beauty, furniture and much more. Aeria Mall also offers a unique Food Hall, with restaurants and different areas, as well as a cinema and a gym. The shopping centre represents a balanced space between retail and leisure.

Africa 4

Set to open in 2025, Al-Futtaim Malls looks ahead to the Zenata Mall opening in Morocco with 120,000sq m of gross leasable area. The mall is set to be anchored by a 26,000sq m IKEA and is also poised to become the largest mall in North Africa. The teams at Al Futtaim, Marjane Holding, Sonae Sierra and Société d’Aménagement Zenata (SAZ) have collaborated to develop an innovative retail, marketing and branding strategy ready to position Zenata Mall as Morocco’s most attractive shopping, family, leisure destination with a differentiated Food Hall. Zenata Mall, located within the innovative, ecologically healthy Zenata Eco-City, will blend the contemporary and traditional zones with an 8,350sq m hypermarket, 10,000sq m leisure and entertainment zone, 5,500sq m multiplex Cinema, a first to Morocco Food Hall and a comprehensive portfolio of over 300 stores. With roughly 15 per cent of Morocco’s total population concentrated in the immediate catchment area of Zenata Eco-City, the mall is set to place the development on the retail investment map.

Africa 5

Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, mixed-use development in Kenya with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex and manufacturing area for more than 150,000 residents and tens of thousands of day visitors. The National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) has given Strategic Environment Assessment approval to the second phase of Tatu City, as the new city expands to meet demand for businesses, homes and social amenities. The approval from NEMA paves the way for Tatu City to develop on its 2,500-acre second phase. The city’s first phase, also 2,500 acres, has more than 50 businesses operating or developing, two schools open educating 3,000 students daily and more than 5,000 homes delivered or under construction.

Africa 6

Eris Property Group has secured the forecourt of the Cape Town Station on a long-term lease from Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and completely reimagined this landmark location into a vibrant new precinct spanning 2.4ha. The first phase of the development will provide 6,700sq m of modern retail space, a 3,085-bed purpose-built student accommodation facility and a new world-class public square. The retail portion of the precinct, named Cape Station, will be anchored by 1,600sq m Spar, Tops and a 600sq m Clicks with various other national tenants secured to ensure that the local community will have their every retail need met under one roof. The development will also include a new world-class public square to serve as a landscaped urban garden with artwork and seating to encourage tourist engagement and dwell time.

The Boardwalk Mall is a 24,000sq m shopping centre built at the Boardwalk precinct in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The development was carried out by property developer Flanagan & Gerard Group and real estate investor Moolman Group in partnership with Emfuleni Resorts. Emfuleni Resorts is a subsidiary of Sun International, a hotels, gaming and entertainment group in South Africa. The new mall was built in two phases with a $36.2M investment. The first phase of development was completed in May 2021. The mall was officially opened in September 2022, marking the completion of the second phase. The project generated up to 2,000 jobs in its construction phase and created 1,500 permanent positions upon completion. The development procured goods and services worth a total of $21M, thereby contributing to the local economy. The Boardwalk Mall features a mix of retail outlets, including two supermarkets, a speciality food store and two pharmacies. It also houses major banks, restaurants, fast food units, coffee shops, health and beauty, electronics, home and décor, gifting, sports and speciality shops, as well as everyday services and essential fashion stores.

Developer Retail Africa is currently working on a host of retail projects across Africa and recently completed the 6,500sq m Madelief Centre, which opened in the middle of last year. Found in the heart of Pretoria North, Madelief Shopping Centre is easily accessible to residents in Rietfontein, Villieria, Wonderboom and Pretoria Central. With the De Onderstepoort Private Nature reserve being only 7.6km from the centre, this convenience centre has quickly become a favourite of the locals. Madelief Shopping Centre is anchored by Pick ’n Pay and Arrie Nel Pharmacy. The centre which features 22 shops, is located within close proximity to many schools, including Gerrit Maritz High School being only 500m away and Pretoria North High School being 2.9km away. Other local communities include Sable Estates and Waterberry Estates located close to the centre.

Retail Africa is also working on upcoming developments including the Parkdene Boulevard redevelopment that is set in the heart of Boksburg and will offer an impressive 32,000sq m of modern retail space when it opens in October of this year. Anchor stores include Checkers Hyper, Dischem and Edgars, with two drive-thru outlets and a wide range of highly sought after retail options complementing the 90-store tenant mix. The centres location provides easy access to major routes including the R21 and Rondebult Road and is conveniently situated near residential areas and seven schools.

Scheduled to launch in 2025 and under construction by McCormick Property Development, the upcoming Mbhashe LG Mall in Idutywa on the Eastern Cape of South Africa will be a single level, double-anchored and enclosed 20,638sq m scheme. Confirmed tenants include Shoprite, Shoprite Liquor, Boxer, Boxer Liquor, OBC, Clicks, Capitec, ABSA, Truworths as well as the Pepkor and the Studio 88 groups.

Another upcoming project from developer McCormick Property Development is the Dan City Mall project, which is also due to open in 2025 in Tzaneen, Limpopo. Taking design cues and learnings from its larger township shopping centres in Gauteng, MPD says the mall will include three grocery anchors, an expansive fashion mix, food, entertainment as well as banking and services previously not represented within the market. The upcoming mall is part of the wider Dan City mixed-use development situated on the R36 in Nkowankowa and it will be McCormick Property Development’s largest rural retail development to date at 146,000sq m.

Eko Atlantic is a new coastal city being built on Victoria Island adjacent to Lagos, Nigeria, to solve the chronic shortage of real estate in the world’s fastest-growing megacity. Under development by South Energyx Nigeria Limited, it is a focal point for investors capitalising on rich development growth based on massive demand – and a gateway to emerging markets of the continent. Eko Mall is a commercial shopping mall planned to be built on the Eko Atlantic Economic City, the planned city of Lagos State, Nigeria, being constructed on land reclaimed from the Atlantic Ocean. The city, which is still under development, is anticipated to be approximately 10sq km in size and will house at least 250,000 people, with an additional 150,000 commuting in daily. This vital development space is being provided by Eko Atlantic, supported by robust modern infrastructure. Over 107,000sq m of net leasable area is being dedicated to the Eko Atlantic Mall. It will be the largest shopping center in the whole of West Africa. The mall will include a vast array of amenities and entertainment, with ample on-site parking, giving shoppers access to premium retail with abundant lifestyle options including: Department stores, kids’ entertainment, food courts, shops and cinemas.