The super-regional Canal Walk Shopping Centre in Cape Town is celebrating 21 years of retail excellence today (26th of October 2021).
It opened in October 2000 with an estimated build cost of R1.3 billion and, at the time, spanning 125 000m2 retail space and 9 600m2 office space and it was acquired by current co-owners Hyprop Investments (80%) and Ellerine Bros Ltd. (20%) in 2003.
The centre has evolved and expanded to meet consumer needs and retailer concepts, extending, and updating its offering. Today, it stands at 149 069m2 of gross lettable area.
“The past 21 years have been full of exciting highlights at Canal Walk” comments Gavin Wood, CEO of Canal Walk Shopping Centre. “The mall has enjoyed the love and loyalty of customers from across Cape Town, the Western Cape and further afield, and earned and retained the respect of the retailer community. We are excited to be celebrating our 21st anniversary. It is a great opportunity to extend our appreciation to our loyal shoppers – the most important ingredient in our success – and to thank everyone who has supported and partnered with the mall on this amazing 21-year journey so far. All our tenants have been integral to Canal Walk’s success story, but special mention must be made of those who have been with the centre for 21 years”.
Key to Canal Walk’s success is its accessibility, convenient trading hours from 09:00am to 21:00pm daily, and the wide variety of brands, leisure, entertainment, and convenience – all located under one roof.
The mall that first opened with a one-of-a-kind, majestic shopping and entertainment experience, is still innovating, improving, and delighting guests by adapting and evolving with exciting retailers. Its scale, success, and agility have continuously secured Canal Walk highly sought-after tenancies and leading brands with many being retail firsts for Cape Town and even South Africa like Starbuck SA’s first store in the Western Cape.
Other brand-new stores to open at the mall in 2021 so far include the Adidas Women’s Store, Birkenstock, Trecastelli, Vuse, Calamari Fisheries, Under Armour, De Jagers and Nicci Boutique. In addition, Diesel, Foschini, Fabiani, Seattle Coffee Company, Crocs, and @home all opened in new locations in the mall. Keeping pace with the latest trends, Tread+Miller, Supergra, Sportscene, Bargain Books, and Samsung introduced their latest store concepts to the centre with Shesha extending to introduce a Hoops Lounge to its store, and Birkenstock opened in a pop-up store.
There is even more to look forward to at Canal Walk in the next while with some highlights including Clicks Baby, a Total Sports expansion, Exact relocating, and Rochester joining the Boulevard stores to complement the offering of stand-alone flagship retail. Zara will be opening at Canal Walk in early 2022, offering its women’s, men’s, and kids’ ranges.
The success of Canal Walk isn’t built on retail and leisure alone; the role it plays for its community and its city makes it a real asset. The centre’s text-book location is the key to its success.
Canal Walk is central to the Century City development, a 250-hectare business and lifestyle precinct with a mixed-use urban environment which combines office, retail, residential, and leisure components, which is being developed around the mall by the Rabie Property Group and at the same time, growing Canal Walk’s primary shopper market. It also benefits from excellent access directly from the N1 and it is centrally situated to the Cape Town CBD and surrounding suburbs.
The Green Building Council of South Africa (GBCSA) awarded Canal Walk a 5-Star Existing Building Performance v1 green rating in 2020. Contributing to its eco-friendly operation are its waste yard with on-site recycling and composting, which diverts refuse from landfill. It has also added greater water-efficiency to its operations by using grey water and adding more water-efficient features to its bathrooms.
Every detail is considered in creating an excellent experience at Canal Walk. It’s bathrooms recently received a deluxe makeover, the parent and child facilities were also updated to create calm and comfortable spaces and, with assistance from the community, it introduced a world-class Salaah Room for the convenience of Muslim guests.
Over the years, Canal Walk Shopping Centre has developed a reputation for its exciting, ever-changing line up of award-winning promotions and live events, which add to the exceptional overall Canal Walk experience. So, it will come as no surprise that Canal Walk is celebrating its 21st Birthday with lots of entertainment, competitions, and highlights throughout the month of October.
“I have no doubt that the next 21 years will be as exciting and rewarding for Canal Walk as the past 21 years,” says Wood. “The solid foundations built over the past two decades, and our deep collective commitment to service excellence and meeting the needs and expectations of our customers ensures that Canal Walk has a very bright future indeed.”