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Africa Voyager – Retail’s Next Frontier

Emerging technologies, a booming population, and rapidly developing economies are changing the retail landscape of Africa. It has the fastest rate or urbanisation in the world and more than 40 per cent of its population is currently living in urban centres. Here, RLI takes a look at a continent on the rise and how it can become a new epicentre of retail.

In the online article ‘Retail in Africa: Facts and Emerging Trends’ by Bindy, they highlight that by 2030, Africa’s 18 largest cities will have a combined spending power of $1.3 trillion. Additionally, Africa has as many cities with one million inhabitants as North America.

Moreover, Africa is on track to become the continent with the world’s youngest population. Approximately 70 per cent of Africans are presently under the age of 30. Youth accounts for around 20 per cent of the population and 53 per cent of African income earners are between 16 – 34 years old. This is an age group known for their awareness of and eagerness to consume new products.

The Arch, Durban, South Africa
Developer: Multiply Property Holdings

The article goes onto say that a growing population and larger cities are translating into big opportunities for retail. For instance, wholesale and retail are already the third largest contributor to Nigeria’s GDP. Kenya has seen a 54 per cent growth in its number of stores over the last five years. South Africa has almost 2,000 shopping malls covering over 24 million square meters. With a surge of investment in technology and infrastructure, Johannesburg is poised to become “Africa’s hippest city” and the newly revitalised neighbourhood of Maboneng boasts trendy restaurants, luxury hotels, and galleries.

The emerging middle-class consumer is increasingly brand conscious. Consumer spending is still mostly concentrated in the informal sector of roadside stalls and town markets. However, in East Africa there is already a discernible shift from informal to formal retail. Below is a selection of projects that highlight the new offerings available to consumers.

Projects across the continent IMKAN Maroc has announced significant progress on its Rabat-based Le Carrousel project as it signs two major retailers – Carrefour Market and CINEATLAS – to feature at its state-of-the-art Mall du Carrousel. Alongside the major retail signings, IMKAN Maroc has appointed leasing management firm AMS AFRICA to implement the mall’s merchandising strategy. Mall du Carrousel in Morocco, which is home to a leasable retail space of over 29,000sq m spread across two levels, is already attracting several globally renowned brands, some of which have already confirmed their presence at the shopping destination. Amongst the first to sign lease agreements are Carrefour Market – a part of the LabelVie Group – and the first network of premium cinema complexes in Morocco, CINEATLAS Holding. In collaboration with its newly appointed leasing management company, AMS AFRICA, IMKAN Maroc has started to roll out its mall merchandising plan to ensure Mall du Carrousel becomes a dynamic flagship shopping and lifestyle destination on a regional scale which is estimated to attract more than five million visitors when it opens in 2023.

Offering an upscale shopping experience for the inhabitants of Al Rehab City in New Cairo, Egypt, Boulevard Al Rehab is set to become a privilege for the community. The mall will cater for all age’s groups with a various range of facilities. The concept of Boulevard Al Rehab is characterized by a well-balanced structure between commercial and retail spaces, in addition to a global brand hypermarket and wide range of international brands. The family & friends facilities combination is enhanced by a kid’s entertainment area as well as a cinema which is operated by leaders of the field. A start up project by a prominent real estate investment group, United Global Company (UGC), with a capital investment of around 1.2 BillionEGP, Boulevard Al Rehab has an area of 25,000sq m, out of which the total construction area is about 100,000sq m comprising six different levels.

Castle Gate, New Cairo, Egypt
Developer: Castle Development

Located in a strategic position between Tunis city centre and Tunis Carthage International Airport and being designed by Design International and developed by SPLT (Société de Promotion du Lac de Tunis) and Indigo Properties, Tunis Garden City will be the first development of a larger masterplan that will change the face of Tunis when it launches in 2024. Tunis Garden City is designed to give back to the city of Tunis an urban space where people can live, work, and enjoy life. Everything is connected together and it will feature 150 retail outlets, distributed across two floors, with a mix of shops and restaurants that face both the indoor galleria and the outdoor boulevard. Ultimately, Tunis Garden City will be a new post-Covid-19 city, symbolising a new Tunisian renaissance.

Zenata Mall is poised to become the largest mall in North Africa with 120,000sq m of gross leasable area. Over the past year, 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 to position Zenata Mall as Morocco’s largest and most attractive shopping, food, family and leisure destination. The mall is currently set to open in 2022. The €100M investment is located in Mohammedia, Casablanca and when it is open it will include 250 shops served by approximately 3,650 parking spaces. The centre will have 18 anchor shops, including IKEA and Marjane hypermarket.

The upcoming Castle gate development by Castle Development will be an impeccable commercial expansion and its hub has been designed by the superior company OKO-PLAN. The mall is to be located in the R7 zone beside the Coventry British University in the New Administrative Capital. The project is to be a focal point where social gatherings can be created in restaurants, cafes, retail outlets and professionally through office and medical clinic space. Upon completion, at an as yet unspecified date, Castle Gate will become a one-of-a-kind business plaza where unrivalled shopping experiences meets astounding fashion desires and exceptional dining experiences rolled in one. The ground floor will comprise of 54 units in multiple different shapes and spaces.

Tunis Garden City, Tunis, Tunisia
Developer: Indigo Property

The redeveloped Metroplex Shopping Mall in Uganda is a world-class, double-level shopping centre in a convenient location. A $20M investment in the 13,000sq m shopping mall by Gateway Delta has drawn retailers such as Carrefour who has taken space previously occupied by collapsed Shoprite. The supermarket is estimated to be 3,400sq m in size and other retailers such as Pep, Woolworth, Cinemax and Bata have made the shopping mall their most recent address. The Metroplex Shopping Mall is in the Naalya neighbourhood, a suburb where the towns’ socialites reside. It is a 10-minute drive off the Northern Bypass and is a shopping, dining, and entertainment hub in Kampala, close to Naalya Housing Estate.

The upcoming 10,000sq m Pamodzi Shopping Mall in Blantyre will be an innovative retail space that will include shops, restaurants and more. Being developed by Pamodzi, the shopping centre is due to be finished this year and will be centrally located within a 3-4km radius from Sunnyside, Nyambadwe, Namiwawa, Mandala, Moneymen and Soche residential areas. The scheme will include five restaurants and 29 stores, two of which will be anchor units, two upper floor executive restaurants and lounges with dining space, an outdoor terrace and a 202-space car park.

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.

Arguably the biggest industrial zone under construction in Egypt is the Tarboul Industrial City by GV Group. This will be the first green industrial city in Egypt and will be positioned over a space of 109 million square metres where every inch is designed to cater for its purpose as a ‘multi-core’ city. Offering a harmonised platform for sustainable production, smart logistics, modern business centres, interconnected commercial outlets, integrated accommodation facilities and inclusive social services, Tarboul Industrial City will be the ‘pivot’ that connects Upper Egypt and the Golden Triangle project to the main economic centres of Cairo.

Another major scheme by the company is the revolutionary Times Square project which is situated at the heart of Port Said, one of the most important cities and ports in the world and at 31,500sq m, the scheme is being designed to become the city’s new central hub. The development will feature multiple experiences in one place including Times Residence which is where the smart homes of Times Square will be delivered and fully finished with central AC and a rich diversity of areas catered to customer’s needs. In addition there will be Times Premiere, which will be fully furnished hotel apartment units, Times Towers which is the business hub that will be fully equipped to meet business needs with the latest technology, facilities and services and Times Hotel, a cozy business-orientated hotel that will be situated on the main street. Finally, the Times Mall will be a design masterpiece that houses a variety of retail shops, cinemas, entertainment and exquisite F&B experiences, all created with care for individuals’ and families’ enjoyment.

Times Square, Port Said, Egypt
Developer: GV Group

McCormick Property Development has completed work on Flagstaff Square and the opening of this project took place in the final quarter of last year. Flagstaff Square is a double level mall anchored by Shoprite and Roots Butchery. The 10,956sq m development has full service offerings from Clicks, Absa and Capitec Bank and includes a substantial fashion offering from Truworths, Markhams, Sportscene, Ackermans, Pep, Power Fashion and Dodos. Also by McCormick Property Development, KwaBhaca Mall in Mt Frere is currently under construction and is set to open in late 2022 with a pipeline of developments including Bizana and Idutywa all in advanced stages of planning and leasing. This development is in partnership with AJ Property Holdings and will include almost 20,000sq m of leasable area in the first phase and host a number of national retailers.

Castle Gate Lifestyle Centre opened late in 2020 and occupies a prime site adjacent to the N1, Van Ryneveld Ave and Solomon Mahlangu Dr. This central location features easy access to and superb visibility from all surrounding roads. Developed by Atterbury Property, this modern mixed-use development features 115,000sq m of offices, 90,000sq m of residential space with 1,100 units, 40,000sq m of space is used for a medical centre and there is a Planet Fitness Gym and a hotel alongside the 23,000sq m of retail space.

The Arch, which was developed by Multiply Property Holdings, covers 45,000sq m, including 163 apartments (30 of which are loft apartments).

The Umhlanga Arch in KwaZulu Natal has rapidly added big name tenants including the Hilton Hotel Group and SMG BMW. The R1.3bn development is characterised by an iconic sea-facing arch configuration and European-inspired high streets. The residential component of this upmarket mixed-use development offers smart-ready apartment and double volume lofts, while the office space is attracting much interest. Completed in stages in 2020, it will not only be a good fit for international and local travellers, but will feed into the business hub of this bespoke, mixed-use development. It offers a business centre, fitness hub, outdoor pool and various food and beverage outlets, including a garden and lounge bar.