Areas and Places

International brands debut at Melrose Arch

A host of leading local and international brands debuted at Melrose Arch this month, joining the iconic mixed-use precinct’s fashionable retail mix and elevating its shopping appeal.

There’s also more to come. Melrose Arch confirms this is the first wave of an exciting retail transformation that will see a selection of hand-picked brands joining Melrose Arch’s firm favourites.

September alone saw the opening of several South African retail firsts at Melrose Arch. Asian beauty brand Harnn, specialised gifting marque The Vault by Daytona, and the glam Juicy Couture all launched stores to become part of Johannesburg’s ultimate cosmopolitan experience.

Bang & Olufsen and the BMW i showroom also launched at Melrose Arch this month, while Shesha and Concept Cyclery unveiled magnificent new concept stores, and Piza e Vino has reinvented its restaurant and, next door, opened The Bar, specialising in craft beer.

These names add to an exciting array of recently opened retail temptations at Melrose Arch including three brands from luxury fashion gurus Surtee Group – True Religion, 7 For All Man Kind, and the stylish Grays, which includes men’s, kids’ and home brands such as Boss & Boss Green, Hackett, Aigner, Canalli, Caruso, Facionnable, Little Mark Jacobs, FAM, Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Kenzo and Olivies Desforges. Premium V.N.T.G has introduced new Italian fashion at Melrose Arch, with brands hand-picked by owner Shawn Janet, who is famed for bringing True Religion to South African shores, including Imperial Denim, Happiness, Osvaldo Trucchi, D’Acquasparta and J Brand jeans for men.

A number of superlative new retailers will also make their debut later this year and in early 2016, adding more high-end retail variety for the discerning shopper. In addition, Melrose Arch will enhance its service and convenience offering for neighbourhood residents.

Melrose Arch General Manager, Mike Vermaak, says the iconic mixed-use precinct’s retail synthesis is being realigned to better suit shoppers’ needs. “Melrose Arch is unique, so it makes sense that our retail tenant mix should reflect this with an offering of fashion and fashionable brands that is remarkably different from anywhere else,” he explains. “People come from near and far to visit Melrose Arch as a destination they are passionate about, and we are giving them even more to delight in.”

Mike adds: “Shoppers in our primary market have a great demographic. They enjoy a high household income, are young at heart, professional, energetic, health conscious, slightly alternative, techno-savvy and have a young family. With that in mind, we’re charging up our retail mix to be more in synch with our customers and boosting our offering of unique and aspirational brands from leading local and international retailers.”

Since launching, Melrose Arch has become celebrated for its vibrant open air environment with streetscape shopping, restaurants and entertainment, all set within an enjoyable and relaxed atmosphere. It is part of the pioneering portfolio of the Amdec Group, a privately-owned property development and investment business recognised as South Africa’s leading developer of New Urban lifestyles. Melrose Arch is acknowledged as South Africa’s original and leading new-urban city – one that is growing and developing as a vibrant place where people live, shop, work and play.

“Our retail space of 40,000m² forms about 20% of the Melrose Arch gross lettable area. While this is small in terms of total precinct space, it is generally perceived as being much larger because this is what people connect with at eye- and street-level,” adds Mike. “That is why we give it such careful attention.”

With much of its retail having traded its first five year lease cycle from 2009 to 2014, Mike reports it is clear that top-end brands perform well at Melrose Arch. This has prompted an escalation in the ongoing process of re-letting and right-sizing tenancies and spaces.

In September, two of Melrose Arch’s foremost stores re-opened after having undergone a striking revamp, guided by the design team at Melrose Arch.

The new-look Concept Cyclery is all about “living on the bike side of life” and offers the best quality products for the passionate cyclist. In store, shoppers can take advantage of a specialised Body Geometry Fit, ensuring bike and body work as one.

The bespoke new Shesha flagship store at Melrose Arch now offers curated Nike and Converse ranges in a stylish fashion boutique setting.

“There were also six new September additions to Melrose Arch’s retail mix, all adding their desirable brands to the precinct’s already compelling appeal this Spring,” notes Mike Vermaak.

Asian beauty brand Harnn introduces its exclusive selection of body care and home spa collections at Melrose Arch. The Harnn ranges are carefully developed with the knowledge of natural botanicals from traditional herbal medicine and scientific research. Using the finest natural active ingredients, along with the Asian holistic approach to wellbeing, Harnn’s products help restore the natural balance of the body and mind.

For a taste of the glamourous stylings of Los Angeles, major global fashion brand Juicy Couture, under the custodianship of the Surtee Group, has opened its elegant doors to a gorgeous Melrose Arch boutique, where fashionistas can find the brand’s signature velour tracksuits and an exciting line-up of its contemporary clothing and accessories ranges.

Shoppers with a need for speed but a love for the environment will have much to be delighted about as the BMW i showroom opened its doors on High Street to showcase i3 and i8 cars. In addition, Melrose Arch now leads the field on public electronic vehicle charging. The precinct now features two dedicated charging bays for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, provided by BMW but suitable for most electric vehicles.

The Vault by Daytona is more than a specialised gifting store with limited edition collectible timepieces and luxury vehicle branded merchandise from Bentley, Ferrari and others. The boutique also offers splendid bespoke objects from repurposed performance engines.

Earlier this month, the Danish Ambassador to South Africa cut the tape to officially open the new Bang & Olufsen store on High Street at Melrose Arch. Bang & Olufsen manufacture a highly distinctive and exclusive range of televisions, music systems, loudspeakers and multimedia products that combine technological excellence with emotional appeal. As the world’s oldest audio brand Bang & Olufsen manufacture artful items of prestige.

Adding new flavour to Melrose Arch’s extensive dining menu, Piza e Vino has reinvented itself an opened The Bar next door to the restaurant, which includes a varied selection of craft beer.

Mike says the coming months will see many new exciting developments for Melrose Arch. “We are continually adding new retail, restaurants and attractions as well as improving our neighbourhood services so that everyone feels welcome and enjoys every moment spent at Melrose Arch.”