Thousands flock to new mall over weekend

2015-05-27 06:00
Sonja de Necker (Baywest centre manager), Fikile Xasa (Local Government MEC), Phumulo Masualle (Eastern Cape Premier) and Baywest co-chairpersons, Sisa Ngebulana en Jaco Odendaal, at the official opening of the Baywest Mall.
Photo:
THEO JEPTHA

Sonja de Necker (Baywest centre manager), Fikile Xasa (Local Government MEC), Phumulo Masualle (Eastern Cape Premier) and Baywest co-chairpersons, Sisa Ngebulana en Jaco Odendaal, at the official opening of the Baywest Mall. Photo: THEO JEPTHA

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MORE than 200 000 eager shoppers flocked to the R1.7 billion Baywest Mall over the weekend (including opening day), exceeding the expectations of developers and national tenants alike.

Just 24 months after ground broke on the 90 000m² mall, Eastern Cape Premier PhumuloMasualle declared it officially open last Thursday (May 21), saying it was and would be a major boost for the province’s economy.

By the end of business on Sunday, a total of 210 027 shoppers had flowed through the mall’s eight entrances.

Baywest marketing manager Samantha Hewitson said both turnout and trade had exceeded all expectations.

“Unaudited figures indicate that some of our national tenants have broken records for a single day of trading, provincially and, for some, even nationally,” said Hewitson.

“Reports from many of our stores indicate that the opening weekend sales have by far exceeded their expectations, especially given that it is a week before payday for many.”

Hewitson said the public had embraced the mall leading up to the grand opening.

“One could feel the anticipation in the air leading up to last week’s opening. However, these opening numbers have really bowled us over.”

Hewitson said that shoppers could look forward to even more exciting stores opening in the coming months, during the mall’s “opening season”.

“With any development this size, teething problems will arise, but we are dealing with them as soon as they crop up,” she said. “The support from the public has been amazing.”

The mall’s operation signals not only the start of development of the Baywest City project, but also the creation of 2 500 permanent jobs at the various stores which are and will be opening their doors.

Number of shoppers on opening weekend:

Thursday, May 21 – 50 549

Friday, May 22 – 42 321

Saturday, May 23 – 63 652

Sunday, May 24 – 53 505

Total: 210 027

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