Liberty Group’s bold decision to transform its Liberty Promenade retail centre into a world class shopping destination is paying dividends. Just over a year since the launch of the R500m refurbishment and extension project, the centre’s statistics paint a positive picture.
With an average year-on-year growth of 4,45% in foot traffic, 6,80% in spend per head and 11,63% in turnover, it is apparent Liberty Promenade has entrenched its status as the preferred shopping destination of the Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha communities.
Amelia Beattie, STANLIB’s Chief Investment Officer: Direct Property Investments comments: ‘These are pleasing results, particularly in a challenging retail landscape where we haven’t seen significant double digit turnover growth. They substantiate Liberty’s strategy to invest in peri-urban areas that traditionally did not attract significant investment interest. Liberty Promenade forms part of the Liberty Direct Property Portfolio which we manage on behalf of the Liberty Group. This strong performance is good news for our investors and confirms the viability of this asset in the local community where we can benefit from the high growth in these areas. As part of its long term strategy Liberty intends to increase its exposure to new investments in peri-urban areas, which are early in their growth lifecycle, to provide our investors with access to the growth from these areas. Liberty Promenade continues to play a major role in the portfolio as going forward it will be used as an example on how to manage a shopping centre in peri-urban areas and make it a success.’
Liberty Properties, who managed the expansion and refurbishment project are also responsible for the management of the centre. Maurice Mdlolo, Liberty Properties Chief Operating Officer says, ‘We are satisfied that our deep understanding of this market is reaping rewards. We believe that if you offer sustained quality, you will garner loyal community support’.
He says factors contributing to the centre’s success include the updated tenant mix, the revamp of the Food Court area and an increased percentage of higher LSM shoppers now visiting the centre.
‘This all benefits sustained foot traffic at 1,1 million feet per month and a strong increase in our turnover and spend per head measurements.’
Top performing tenants include national retailers Truworths and Pick n Pay, with independent stores Ozone Sports and Pepper Tree standing out with merchandise that is not readily available at national chains.
Mdlolo says the new design of the Truworths store coupled with the availability of additional brands like UZZI and Daniel Hechter has enhanced these retailers performance. Pick n Pay’s flexible trading hours (08h00 until 21h00 from Monday to Sunday) are appreciated and strongly supported by the community.
Mdlolo says it is gratifying to experience the community’s pride in Liberty Promenade. ‘Following this recent investment, visitors have referred to the centre as the ‘A world class shopping centre right on our doorstep’.