New Retail Trading Density Index launched

New Retail Trading Density Index launched

Shows foot traffic at shopping centres has declined, but spending has increased.

An IPD (Investment Property Databank) Retail Trading Density Index has revealed that foot traffic in shopping centres across the country has declined in the past three years but that shoppers have been spending more over the same period. The IPD index has been compiled in collaboration with the South African Council of Shopping Centres. It tracks the performance of shopping centres based on information gleaned directly from the retail outlets’ owners and managers.

The index will be released quarterly. The IPD’s Jess Cleland says while footfall has declined slightly shopping centres across the spectrum are showing higher turnovers. The index took into account super regional, regional, small regional and community shopping centres. The table below illustrates the turnover of the various shopping centre types for the year end to September 2011.



Cleland says smaller centres have performed particularly well which can be partly attributed to the global economic crisis as shoppers pop in for groceries and other necessities rather than frequent the malls with their luxury goods items in addition to the food offering.

The IPD said in a statement: “Stronger than expected retail sales growth in the third quarter of 2011 has helped to maintain the robust performance of South African shopping centres.” It said while turnover growth of shopping centres had recovered from the downturn in 2009 and 2010, the momentum had now slowed and dropped below inflation for some centres. “It is the larger centres where the growth in trading density, which is measured as turnover per square metre, has been the most muted.” “For the year to September 2011, trading density increased by 5.2% for super regional centres, by 5.5% for regional centres and just 3.8% for small regional centres when compared to the previous year.” The smaller community and neighbourhood centres in turn increased their trading densities by 10.2% and 15% respectively.

The smaller centres rely more heavily on necessities such as groceries to drive their sales compared to larger ones with more specialised tenants catering for more discretionary spending.

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Denny Crane

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