Shelf Life: Mall of Africa — from Armani to Zara
Cheryl Hunter (shelflife at marklives.com)’s weekly pick of all things new — product, packaging, design, insight, food, décor and more!
- Mall of Africa welcomes top global brands
- Brewing up a trend with Slo-Jo
Waterfall’s shopping hub
The landmark new Mall of Africa opened its doors last week Thursday, 28 April 2016, offering shoppers 300-plus stores, restaurants and entertainment services and setting a new benchmark for shopping centres on the continent.
Southern Africa’s largest single-phase shopping centre development to date, the R5bn Mall of Africa is a 130 000m2 super-regional mall developed by Atterbury.
Says Louis van der Watt, CEO of Atterbury, “The Mall of Africa has been designed and developed by Africans, and stands proud with leading international retail centres globally. We have created a new shopping experience unlike anywhere else, in which every detail of the mall caters towards understanding and delighting customers.”
The retail mix features a substantial offering of South Africa’s most-popular retailers, with five anchor tenants — Checkers, Edgars, Game, Woolworths and Ster Kinekor. They are joined by brands from The Foschini Group, Mr Price, and Truworths. Top international brands opening their first stores in SA include Armani Exchange, Helly Hansen, Asics, Zara Home, The Kooples, Under Armour, Women’secret and Soap Stories. These new retailers join favourite brands like H&M, Forever 21, Forever New, River Island, Mango, Cotton On, Starbucks, Versace and Zara.
Cobus van Heerden of Atterbury Property Developments says, “We have worked hard to ensure an exceptional shopping experience for customers that will attract discerning shoppers from our local community at Waterfall, across SA and all corners of the African continent.”
The strong fashion component is bolstered by a full complement of banks, cellphone and tech stores, an array of health and beauty outlets, and home and décor stores, as well as a cinema complex. The mall will also feature a town square overlooking a green park with a wide choice of restaurants and fast-food outlets.
The architectural form, designed by MDS Architects, has been inspired by geological beauty. Using natural elements such as wood, stone, glass and concrete, the mall’s centre court takes inspiration from the forests of central Africa. Its further four courts reflect the four points of the compass on the continent: the great lakes in the east, the oil and trade of the west, the sand of the North African desert and the mineral wealth of southern Africa.
According to Van Heerden, the development boasts spacious mall-widths and high shopfronts: “The design combines international standards with contemporary architectural expressions so, in addition to being truly beautiful, it is also easy and enjoyable for shoppers to navigate.”
It is situated in Waterfall City, halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria, adjacent to the Allandale Road exit off the N1 Highway.
Trends to keep tabs on
As we head into winter, variations of teas and coffees are hot and trendy. Shelf Life chatted to Chrissy Beedle, Slo-Jo’s executive manager of research and product development, about what’s brewing.
Matcha tea is a Japanese legacy that’s become a global trend. It is said to enhance your metabolism, help reduce stress, boost your immune system, lower cholesterol, and fight cancer. This tea is different to regular green tea because entire leaves are dissolved in water so, instead of throwing tea bags away, you drink in all the goodness.
Slo-Jo recently translated this global health trend into a taste experience that’s exclusively available at Mugg & Bean in a milkshake, smoothie crush or as a steamed milk drink.
With Berry, Peach and Lemon iced teas readily available in leading restaurants, the next logical step was to create tea-based cocktails by playing around with flavours, fruit, herbs and flavoured or plain spirits.
If you prefer virgin cocktails, you could try a Vanilla and Chai Long Island Iced Tea, for example.
Adding complementary flavours to favourite coffee blends, such as a shot of cinnamon, macadamia or vanilla has become hugely popular, while adding a shot of coffee to hot chocolate or even warm almond milk also works.
Rooibos tea’s reputation for being a healthy choice was given an added boost when Redespresso became popular, and Slo-Jo has taken this idea a step further by adding popular natural additives to create something new: Redespresso Crush, which is made with coconut milk concentrate.
But a reminder — it’s all about presentation: “We feast with our eyes as much as we do with our taste-buds.”
Cheryl Hunter (@cherylhunter) has written for the South African media, marketing and advertising industries for more than 15 years. A former editor of M&M in Independent Newspapers and contributor to Bizcommunity, AdFocus, AdReview and the Ad Annual, she has also produced for various television networks and currently consults on communication strategy and media liaison.
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