South Africa is known for the quantity and quality of shopping malls that are available throughout the country, and last week another highly-anticipated shopping centre opening took place, as the Mall of Africa launched to great fanfare and excitement.
Built in Midrand, Johannesburg by Property owner Attacq Limited, the Mall of Africa opened to the public on Thursday, April 28. The mall adds to the oversupply of shopping centres in the country, but will likely remain a popular new destination for those in the area, as transport links and the availability of big name local and international stores make it an attractive centre.
We take a look at 8 things you may not know about South Africa’s latest shopping complex offering, the Mall of Africa.
The Mall of Africa is officially the biggest first-phase mall in southern Africa. At 130,000 square metres in size, there are 40 escalators within the mall so that shoppers can access all parts of the centre without struggles. A total of 10 million bricks and 8,500 tons of steel were used during its construction within a single phase, and over a three year period it cost about $348.5 million (R5 billion) to build. Impressive stuff!
Lured to the new mall by the promise of huge opening specials from their favourite stores, as well as the chance to be one of the first South Africans to experience some new entry brands into the SA market, people flocked to the Mall of Africa for the April 28 launch, causing huge traffic jams and providing the shopping centre with crazy amounts of pedestrian traffic throughout the complex, to the delight of store owners and the centre management.
With over 300 stores available to the public at the Mall of Africa, consumers are spoilt for choice within the massive shopping complex. The likes of Ster Kinekor, Checkers Hyper, Game, Woolworths and Edgars will be anchor tenants, but a variety of stores are available at the newly constructed centre, including many international shops, restaurants and entertainment options.
As the name suggests, the shopping complex garnered much of the inspiration for its design from the African continent. Taking into consideration aspects that characterise the African landscape in all directions, parts of the mall are designed to recognise the forests of central Africa, the great lakes in the east of the continent, the oil and trade of the west, the sand of the North African desert and the mineral wealth of southern Africa.
American coffee mega-brand Starbucks recently launched in South Africa, with the first store in the country opened in Rosebank, Johannesburg in April. The second official Starbucks store opened at the Mall of Africa on the launch date, giving visitors to the centre another attractive establishment to enjoy. The lines outside the Rosebank and Mall of Africa Starbucks stores proves the huge popularity that the brand already commands in SA.
While most international brands entering South Africa would typically set up flagship stores in places like Rosebank and Sandton, there is now competition from the Mall of Africa for these new entries into the market. The likes of Armani Exchange, Helly Hansen, Asics, Zara Home, The Kooples, Under Armour, Women’s Secret and Soap Stories have all set up shop in the country with a first store at the Mall of Africa, and others are likely to follow.
The Mall of Africa benefits from a number of transportation elements, with easy access via free-way and train. The new Allandale Road exit off of the N1 highway provides a direct link to the mall, while the new Bridal Veil Road overpass bridge adds further access, creating a new east-west transport axis. The centre is also close to the Gautrain’s Midrand station, giving train commuters another option. A dedicated Uber section at the mall is available for those using the service.
The Mall of Africa is a beautiful example of what a large scale South African mall looks like, but the country has an oversupply of shopping malls throughout the country. Recent research reveals that there are around 1,785 malls in the country, with that figure continuously growing.