Rural Limpopo’s 32 000 square meter newly redeveloped Paledi Mall was recently launched.
This is the second extension since the mall was established in 2009. Paledi Mall has been substantially upgraded from a moderately-sized shopping mall of 13 000 square meters to a sizeable 32 000 square with the last revamp being 7 000 square meters.
“Paledi Mall has been – and continues to be – an incredible journey and success story. In fact, the exceptional trading that followed the completion of Paledi Mall’s second phase in 2015, led to the fast-tracking of Phase 3.
Eleven of our Paledi Mall retailers have been with the mall since its inception – they all have good news
stories to tell about the mall and their own profits and successes” commented developer Twin City COO Ryno de Leeuw.
These retailers include brands such as Superspar and Tops, PEP, BuildIt, Lewis, JET, Nedbank, Furn4U, Best Electric, Sleebok Granite and Studio88.
The R133 million third phase (scheduled over eighteen months) will include the renovation of current anchor tenants, as well as the addition of new line shops.
“The mall design was reconfigured to ensure better shopper flow and to accommodate the relocation of
Superspar as an anchor tenant,” says de Leeuw. “This, in turn, created an opportunity for more big-box retail,
thereby strengthening Paledi Mall as a retail destination. The design also anticipates Phase 4, by ensuring
future redevelopment will be easily accommodated”.
“From a look & feel perspective, the elements contained in Phase 2 have been carried through to speak to our
aspirational, young market. This will include a rebranding exercise in line with this strategy”.
Gavin Tagg, CEO of specialist retail agency Retail Network Services, who partners with Twin City on this project comments:
“Our in-depth research showed that the two main reasons people visit Paledi Mall are for groceries and fashion … The renovation has addressed this reality – we re-crafted the tenant mix to ensure that Paledi Mall remains relevant and continues to offer an enticing and exciting blend of retail experiences for its customers”.
Although all major banks have automated services in Paledi Mall, de Leeuw anticipates that the latest phase will see full-service offerings from all of them.
Known as a “university township”, Mankweng as a community is dynamic and attracts skilled professionals because the area houses Mankweng District Hospital and Nursing College, a regional magistrate’s court, as well as a public library. Mankweng has grown rapidly over recent years, as residents near the University converted their homes into rentals in order to house the growing population of students from many parts of the country, with some coming from as far as East and North Africa.
“The University of Limpopo is just 4km away from Paledi Mall,” de Leeuw says. “With over 18 000 students
and an expanding base of skilled professionals, it remains a catalyst for growth and development.”
Paledi Mall’s prime location is a key reason for its growth. Located just off the R71 arterial road (between Polokwane and Tzaneen) and the University road in Mankweng, Paledi Mall enjoys high visibility, large traffic volumes and is well-located in the developing residential fabric of the area. The R71 carries considerable amounts of commercial trucks, public and private traffic daily – it acts as a one-stop shop for those travelling between Polokwane and Tzaneen.
Its location – just 10 kms west of Moria – where seasonal pilgrimages significantly increase traffic on this already busy road – means that ongoing growth is virtually guaranteed. Between 3 and 5-million worshippers make their way to Moria for their annual Easter pilgrimage. Access is excellent too. There is a major transport hub adjacent to the mall – and two other formal taxi ranks/holding areas.
Mankweng is no longer considered as a village or township – it has grown beyond this and is now considered to be a town in its own right. De Leeuw is excited about the potential that the ongoing growth offers retailers:
“Experts predict that the market size will be R4.3 billion in 2020 – up from R2.1 billion in 2013. This is a growth rate of more than 100% in seven years.”
The latest statistics on Paledi Mall reflect this strong growth: there are more than 16 200 registered users on the Paledi Mall WiFi network. On average there are 7 000 connections per month on the network. “The annual foot count is also up by more than 11% in the past two years and up by almost 7% compared to one year ago,” de Leeuw adds.
“What’s even more exciting is the growth in per capita income,” says de Leeuw. The income bracket has changed upwards, and the primary catchment has strengthened. There is a growing middle to upper-class income sector in this node. The population growth in the primary catchment area over the past fifteen years is another massive driver in retail spend.
De Leeuw maintains that Twin City’s philosophy of close collaboration with the local community is central to the mall’s success. The shopping mall currently functions as a community centre and services the whole of Mankweng and the surrounding suburbs.
In an exciting new development, the revamped Paledi Mall will include an innovation hub for SMMEs and entrepreneurs. The facilities will include a range of services including free internet services, meeting facilities, workshops and programmes.
The expansion of Paledi Mall remodels it from its earlier community-focused shopping centre to a small regional centre – increasing its ability to provide a wider retail variety and retain more customers. There is no longer any need for shoppers to travel as far as Polokwane for the full retail experience – they can find it all at Paledi Mall.
“The new, bigger Paledi Mall will enhance our customers’ shopping experience – and keep them coming back for more,” concludes de Leeuw.