Redefine Properties has finalised leases with two international big box retailers set to debut at its centres later this year.
International retailers looking to open and expand their presence in the country have already snapped up more than 37 000s square metera of prime retail space across Redefine’s portfolio.
One of the world’s largest home improvement retailers, French based Leroy Merlin will open its first store in South Africa at Redefine’s Stoneridge Centre in Modderfontein while international sport goods retailer Decathlon will be opening at Centurion Lifestyle Centre and Wilgeheuwel, Little Falls to further grow its footprint in the country.
Leroy Merlin will occupy some 17 000s square meters of space at Stoneridge Centre covering two floors, parking and materials yard on the lower level and showrooms, trading floor, storage area, office space as well as a pick up zone on the upper level. Redefine’s development team had to substantially remodel the specification document designed for an European environment to provide a new two level configuration to suit the South African environment and ensure consistency of look and feel across Leroy Merlin’s global stores.
Nashil Chotoki, National Asset Manager, Retail at Redefine Properties says,
“The area surrounding Stoneridge Centre represents a prime location for an offering like Leroy Merlin. Over and above the established estates and precincts, massive housing growth is predicated for areas like Greenstone, Modderfontein and Linbro Park.”
Leroy Merlin stores offer a variety of internationally-sourced products with specialised advice and training for customers of any level of DIY expertise. Their stores normally carry anywhere between 30,000 – 60,000 products with Leroy Merlin’s customer focused employees able to offer sound advice on solutions, products and installations.
Cedric Sennepin, CEO of Leroy Merlin SA, says, “It is important for Leroy Merlin to work with serious partners such as Redefine and we are confident that we developed a first store that will attract customers from far.”
The run off benefits of bringing big box retail to communities is more jobs for local people as well as spill over traffic for other outlets in the area. Directly and indirectly the home improvement retailer will create jobs for more than 200 people.
“Big box retail solutions offer a greater diversity of options for shoppers. Consumer trends point to greater support for such convenience centres and we feel that retailers like Leroy Merlin & Decathlon enhances the “convenience” of some of our assets and create a point of differentiation,” says Chotoki.
“Leroy Merlin in combination with other new retailers at the centre will change the profile of the node.”
Spending on home improvement continues to remain resilient despite a sluggish economy as consumers favour DIY options to save money. Millennials and baby boomers are choosing to update their homes instead of trading up and in the process fast fashioning a new trend.
“Technology has inspired DIY projects. Millennials today simply google a solution, buy products from home improvement stores to save time and money,” adds Chotoki.
“We are proud to be leasing space to global brands like Leroy Merlin & Decathlon. The combination of top quality assets and unique locations is an irresistible proposition for tenants in any economic cycle. We hope to further build a lasting partnership with these brands and are currently exploring other opportunities in the Redefine portfolio.”
Redefine’s two lease agreements with Decathlon cover approximately 5 000 square meters. The sports lifestyle category has been the fastest growing retail category in terms of sales and is largely driven by a healthier lifestyle being adopted by South Africans.
“Decathlon’s offerings – products and price points, suit local tastes while the instore “experiential” environment like mini football field and netball courts is fast proving to be a crowd pleaser,” says Chotoki in conclusion.
“Retailers continue to seek new neighbourhoods where they can achieve great revenue and our projects in burgeoning nodes like Modderfontein and Little Falls offer that density of new traffic that can support their businesses.”
Redefine is also in talks with H&M and other international retailers across the larger retail formats.