Malls go for new look

2013-08-21 00:00

CONSUMER spending may be weak, but two of Durban’s major shopping malls are being revamped to cope with a growing number of shoppers.

“La Lucia Mall achieved double-digit turnover growth year on year to July 2013, yet again,” says La Lucia Mall manager Vanessa Blevins.

Cape Union Mart, Old Khaki, Mr Price Sport and Havaiana’s will open stores at KZN’s La Lucia Mall before the end of the year. The centre’s Dis-Chem is also expanding, and a Sorbet salon was recently introduced.

La Lucia Mall had agreed new leases valued at R125 million over the past six months, meeting the retail needs of the growing, prosperous consumer market in the Durban North communities, and tourists.

Meanwhile, the Pavilion Shopping Centre is undergoing a R228 million structural redesign and redevelopment expected to be completed by March 2014.

Phase One includes refurbishing the Via Pareto mall on the ground floor. A new food hall is expected, and improved entertainment will include four cinemas with plush seating and the latest technology. The existing eight cinemas will also be upgraded.

Dedicated parking for the entertainment area, improved lift and escalator access and upgrades to the restroom and family facilities are other plans.

“The new development will increase the GDP of the province and encourage entrepreneurial growth in the area,” Marius Muller, the CEO of Pareto, said at a recent event to launch the mall expansion.

Meanwhile, at La Lucia Mall Mr Price Sport will open in April 2014, bringing its sport and outdoor equipment to La Lucia Mall shoppers.

Marketing executive Nikki Viljoen said Mr Price’s other brands at La Lucia Mall — Mr Price Apparel and Mr Price Home — were trading well.

“The Cape Union Mart group is enjoying a period of positive and sustained growth and sees the KwaZulu-Natal region as an area of opportunity. That’s why it’s investing in two stores in La Lucia Mall,” said Cape Union Mart marketing manager Evan Torrance.

Rubber sandal store chain Havaiana’s will open a concept store at La Lucia Mall in October. Over the past six years, the Brazilian brand had grown into three stores in South Africa: V&A Waterfront, Sandton City and Gateway Theatre of Shopping. “The Durban consumer is diverse and each region and mall within KwaZulu-Natal itself comes with its own attractions, following and loyalty,” said Paul Lazarus, managing director of Havaiana’s in South Africa.

Several La Lucia Mall stores also recently invested in refurbishments, including Pick n Pay, Food Lover’s Market, Edgars, Boardmans, The Body Shop, Perfect 10 Nail & Body Studio, Dream Nails Beauty, Nedbank and others.

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