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Send  Share  RSS  Twitter  25 Nov 2010

RETAILING: World Cup After-Effect Boosts V&A Waterfront


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Despite the lingering recession, 2010 has been a solid year for the country’s most visited tourist destination, with the 2010 World Cup celebrations ensuring a positive knock-on effect for a variety of businesses positioned within the V&A Waterfront. During the 2010 World Cup, the V&A Waterfront hosted more than 3-million visitors which underscored the destination’s credentials as the hub for fun football activity in Cape Town.

But throughout the challenging trading periods, the V&A Waterfront held its ground. CEO David Green said while certain shopping centres may have seen a decline in trading figures, the V&A Waterfront’s strategic focus on innovation, new developments and a stronger retail offering, ensured increased footfall in 2010, compared to the same period last year.

While the start of the year was lower in terms of footfall and revenue, it correlates with lower tourism figures reported by SA Tourism,” he said. “We are encouraged by the strong uptick in retail turnover during the World Cup period, a trend that’s continued into our quarter three results, showing an encouraging year on year increase. We anticipate surpassing our usual annual number of 23-million visitors, by the end of December 2010.”

During the past year we bolstered our retail offering with a variety of new store openings such as Poetry, Forever New, Bench, Penguin and Hurley. We also have the first Nespresso retail store and a flagship Sony offering, which are both enjoying good trading. We pro-actively improved our food offering, and new venues such as the Grand Beach and Buena Vista were well received by the local and international market. We believe 2010 was the year of building stronger relationships with our local Capetonian visitors,” said Green.

Safety and security also remains a key priority.  “While we are pleased that based on recent statistics, crime at the V&A Waterfront has reduced year on year, we remain vigilant and are constantly looking at ways to improve safety and security measures,” Green said. “This all forms part of our ongoing commitment to maintain and enhance our visitors’ experience of this world class destination.”

During the past year the V&A Waterfront also announced two new hotel developments which are expected to add a further dimension to its accommodation offering. The Queen Victoria, a 5 star luxury boutique hotel, will open in March 2011 and the 3-star Holiday Inn Express to be built on the roof of the Breakwater parking garage is scheduled to open early 2012. “These hotels will address the needs of business and leisure travellers at both the luxury and affordable ends of the spectrum. We have also sold all our available stock of residential units (approximately 600) and hope to develop more in the near future, as the market starts to demand it.”

And in time for the festive season, there has been a strong investment in creating a truly memorable visitor experience at the V&A Waterfront. “Consumers are looking for meaningful experiences with family and friends at this time of year,” said Chantelle Kidd, Marketing Executive at the V&A Waterfront. “Our incomparable indoor / outdoor environment and unique mix of stores, eateries and leisure activities remain key aspects to engage with our visitors, and we intend to delight our regular and new visitors with exciting new offerings this festive season.”

In a first for the city, an outdoor ice skating rink, made from real ice, will open for the festive season. Housed in a giant inflated cube structure, the rink is scheduled to open to the public on 10 December, and will operate until mid-January 2011. Kidd also confirmed that the Wheel of Excellence will be relocated this month, reopening on 3 December in the heart of the property, on Market Square, where it will remain until February 2011.

Other notable attractions at the V&A Waterfront include an outdoor 15 metre Christmas tree, and the biggest Christmas cracker in Cape Town – part of the BOBS for Good Charity drive to collect school shoes for under-privileged children. Daily entertainment, both indoors and outdoors and the arrival of Father Christmas on 15 December will provide visitors with an array of experiences to choose from.

Coupled with a number of customary festive season offerings, from traditional Christmas confectionery to music and entertainment, we look forward to offering our visitors a memorably festive season with a truly unique Cape Town flavour this year,” Kidd concluded.

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