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Maerua Mall gears up for competition.

With just a few months away from the opening of The Grove Mall of Namibia, The Economist approached Mr Stefan de Bruin, Managing Director of the Oryx Properties Group to gauge his expectations for the opening of the much anticipated Grove Mall. The Grove Mall of Namibia, being a retail project of such magnitude, is expected to have a significant impact on the Windhoek retailer environment. De Bruin noted that the Grove Mall of Namibia will have a profound impact on the retail scene in Windhoek. “Oryx Properties”, he said, “has made great headway in terms of tenant retention and mix revitalization.  He believes this would address the demand and needs of retailers and shoppers alike. According to de Bruin, all the major national tenants have renewed their lease agreements reaffirming the competitiveness of the shopping centre. Its location, he said, places it in a square position to service the affluent retail market.

“In addition, the Maerua Mall node is supported by a strong office component and the location near decentralised office nodes supports the retail footfall.” “One must bear in mind that retail is an evolving environment where a lot of change occurs on a regular basis. New tenants are always exciting and a fresh look is certain to create a buzz amongst the retail consumers. However, the retail environment is under pressure with huge competition amongst the different retailers where everyone is fighting for the consumer’s dollar or at least the biggest part of it” de Bruin said alluding to the anticipated increase in competition once the Grove Mall starts attracting consumers from the southern and western suburbs. “Lower expendable income due to the high cost of living will play a major role on the retail environment and will put pressure on niche, luxury stores.”  “Maerua Mall is perfectly positioned in both location as well as tenant mix to provide price sensible offerings as well as to cater for the more discerned buyer” he continued. The centre’s proximity to the Central Business District and other decentralised office nodes certainly adds to [shopping] convenience while the addition of a huge number of parking bays will ensure that internal circulation is improved. “We believe that the extensions at Maerua Mall was a direct result of consumer need and that the strategy of Maerua Mall is focused on ensuring that these needs are addressed. With the ever-changing face of retail, we are confident that Maerua Mall will remain competitive due to its location,  size and offering to shoppers. Our tenants are also confident that their shops will continue to do well and this is evidenced by the successful renewals of lease agreements by both the nationals and the line shops,” de Bruin said. Much like the Grove Mall of Namibia, Maerua Mall he said, was once too a pioneering development and was confident of its growth and added that the centre had gone through its own share of various social and economic cycles proving the shopping centre’s resilience. “I believe that Maerua Mall understands its customers and that the tenant mix will continue to speak to its consumer base. A huge focus on safety, a friendly and accommodating style of public relations, a well-balanced tenant mix and an in-depth knowledge of the local consumer market with an ear on the ground approach, will ensure that the competitive edge remains,” he concluded.

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