V&A waterfront bucks sombre economic forecasts

V&A waterfront bucks sombre economic forecasts

Trade at the V&A Waterfront continues to remain buoyant as second quarter retail trade results again reflect double digit growth despite stormy economic times.

In a comparison of the period April to June 2013 versus 2014, the V&A Waterfront achieved an actual sales growth of 20.9%. Similarly, the year-on-year actual sales growth is a positive 21.6%. The popular Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre attracted 5.2-million visitors in the quarter, while footfall to the entire 123 hectare property is estimated at 6-million.

National retail sales figures and the trading updates from national retailers are not positive, and can be a result of economy severely weakened by continued strike action, spiralling costs and rising inflation. 

Commenting on the results, V&A Waterfront CEO David Green said: “The positive results can be attributed to a strong strategy to refresh the retail mix in order to remain relevant to our core Capetonian audience.  Added to this, domestic, regional and international airport arrivals to Cape Town International Airport were up 3% over the same period last year.  The retail environment is a competitive one, but we believe the Waterfront strikes the right balance between meeting the expectations of both high-end and cost conscious consumers‘’

“Shareholders, Growthpoint Properties Ltd and the Public Investment Corporation Limited, share our vision to be at the cutting edge of retail, cultural, commercial and residential development and are willing to make the necessary investment.”

Green continued, ‘’The appeal of the Waterfront is that it is multi-dimensional in nature, an indoor outdoor destination that offers shopping alongside eateries, entertainment and leisure options.’’

New tenants that are expected to add impetus to third quarter trading results include a new pilot format international store for mrp, Nike, Watch Works, Pylones and Boutique Haute Horlogerie, all opening during August 2014.

Also due to open in the next quarter is the newly renamed Watershed, an amalgamation of the Red and Blue Shed craft markets.  The R50-million redevelopment shifts the retail focus from curios to craft and design. Curator Trevyn McGowan, the creative force behind Source, has played a pivotal role in the process.

Speaking about the evolution of the current space to create the Watershed, Alex Kabalin, Retail Executive said: “The thinking was to capitalise on the vibrant design industry in Cape Town and to create a unique retail hub within the V&A Waterfront, which is not only a platform for entrepreneurs, innovators and creative thinkers, but also represents the best of craft and design in Cape Town, South Africa and Africa overall. It has given us the opportunity to widen our appeal to include mainstream retail in Victoria Wharf and specialty shopping in the Watershed.’’

The redevelopment is on track for an early summer 2014 opening.

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