South Africans are in love with small shopping malls

 ·18 Mar 2024

Community and Smaller malls – those under 25,000 sqm – are performing exceptionally well in South Africa and keeping competitive with the larger players.

This is according to the latest Clur Shopping Centre Index update, which tracks the performance of 4 million sqm of prime retail space in South Africa and Namibia for listed and unlisted property funds.

According to Clur International, the Community and Smaller Mall index’s Y/Y growth was 4.5% in 2023, with an annualised trading density of R41,694 per sqm.

This was better than the annualised trading density for the All Centres index, which stood at R40,889 per sqm.

“At the worst of the Covid era, this segment outperformed all other shopping centre formats for both annualised trading density and y/y growth,” said Clur International.

Type of centreAnnualised Trading Density (sqm)Y/Y Growth
Community & SmallerR41 694+4.5%
Small Regional & SmallerR36 119+3.8%
Small Regional R32 158+3.1%
RegionalR38 022+4.4%
Super RegionalR48 628+6.2%
Regional and Super RegionalR43 205+5.3%
Small Regional, Regional and Super RegionalR40 774+4.9%
All CentresR40 899+4.9%

Festive strength

“In 2023, it showed the strongest growth relative to 2019 of 25.1% and the highest y/y growth over the combined festive season, of 5.7%, with the lowest contraction.”

In November 2023, the 2.0% YoY growth for the Community and Smaller index was better than the 0.4% recorded for the All Centres index and the highest across all formats.

“Impressively, December 2023’s inflation-beating y/y growth of 8.7% was expansionary and the highest across all formats, underpinned by a trading density of R60,288 per sqm,” said Clur International.

However, that for the rest of the year, the e Community and Smaller index only saw 4.4% growth compared to the 5.1% for the All Centres Index.

MonthAll Centres YoY GrowthCommunity and Smaller YoY Growth
Festive Season (Nov – Dec)4.4%5.7%
November Isolated 0.4%2.0%
December Isolated7.5%8.7%
Rest of the Year5.1%4.4%

Read: Dark clouds gather for South Africa as reality sinks in

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