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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  29 Sep 2010

RETAILING: Keys To Successful Shopping Centres


Recent Western Cape Business News

We need to be careful in our thinking about where the future of retail lies in South Africa. We live in a dynamic world with constantly changing patterns,” says doyen of the South African shopping centre industry Patrick Flanagan.

Flanagan will sharing his insight into the industry’s unique challenges and its future at the 14th Annual African Congress of Shopping Centres, hosted by the South African Council of Shopping Centres (SACSC) and sponsored by Growthpoint Properties Limited, which will take place from 13 to 15 October, 2010 at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.

Flanagan notes that the key to successful retail property development in South Africa today, taking into consideration the fact that many areas are already served by retail centres, is to understand one’s own shopper target market. Similarly the function of the retail centre has to be clearly understood in terms of its role in the target market and in relation to other centres.

Understanding consumer behaviour is critical to the success or failure of a new centre, particularly where it competes with other centres which are accessible to the same target market,” says Flanagan. He explains that there are essentially three types of consumer behaviour: convenience shopping, socializing and comparative shopping.

Critical mass is another aspect which is important, points out Flanagan, especially for regional shopping centres. “It is important that a centre retains both its dominance in a node and its ability to expand over time, otherwise it runs the risk of losing its critical mass and creating too much fragmentation around it as other retail offerings spring up”.

Vital to the success or failure of a retail centre, highlights Flanagan, is proper management. “The shortage of skills in the shopping centre management arena is problematic here, but there are also other factors such as the selling on the developments after completion, which means that centres are less well managed than they should be.”

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