Advice and Opinion

Lightstone to release comparison report on local malls Black Friday foot traffic

Shopping Centre Generic

With shopping centres across South Africa preparing for yet another explosive Black Friday this year, the recently renovated Fourways Mall, situated in the north of Johannesburg must be expecting its highest foot traffic to date. Lightstone, the provider of comprehensive data, analytics and systems on property and business assets, analysed the mall’s performance according to data provided by Tracker.

The information analysed, anonymised and aggregated driver behaviour of a large portion of Tracker fitted vehicles and found that during the re-opening weekend of 22 August 2019, Fourways Mall; – now dubbed the largest mall in South Africa with 178 000 m² floor space – almost doubled the number of visitors compared to the prior weekend (15 – 18 August 2019).”

According to PwC, Black Friday purchases are set to increase by 36% in 2019 from the previous year. Linda Reid, Head of Commercial at Lightstone, says that the centre has the perfect mix of retail outlets that have historically coined some of Black Friday’s most popular deals, like Checkers, Game and DisChem. “However, as consumers aim to avoid the Black Friday rush and rather opt for online purchases, it would be interesting to see how, and if visitor numbers increase during Black Friday,” says Reid. Lightstone will be releasing analysed data post Black Friday on how visits increased on the day.

Michael du Preez, Product and Marketing Executive from Tracker says, “As malls and retailers prepare for Black Friday traffic, having access to new insights that use millions of data points to determine mobility behaviour can help make better, more informed decisions for their businesses.”

Although it was expected to be one of the top retail destinations in Gauteng, Fourways Mall is still paling in comparison to its nearby rival The Mall of Africa with 50% fewer visitors each month. Additionally, visitors only spend 20% more time at Fourways Mall than prior to the re-launch in August this year, and  visitors spend 40% more time at The Mall of Africa than they do at Fourways Mall.

There are a few contributing factors, one of which being lack of aggressive advertising and promotions around the mall,” says Reid. “The mall still has tenants completing their facilities, for example KidZania, amongst others, and perhaps this is a reason why mall managers are holding back on marketing activities.

Increasing top-of-mind awareness for Fourways Mall and its mix of interests through marketing messages is almost certain to attract shoppers with radio advertisements for the mall going live on local stations this week. Lightstone will be monitoring changes in attendance at the mall over the coming few months.