Retail Trends – What does the future hold?

By Dr Dirk A Prinsloo
Urban Studies,
In Conjunction With Ipd Retail Benchmark Providers Stan Garrun

The main objective of this Research Column is to compare the performance of different types of shopping centres, and to link the performance of the centre at a particular point in time to prevailing social, political and economic conditions. The focus will be on the broad picture for the three types of centres, as well as a detailed analysis regarding the different main retail categories. Included in the broader survey is a large proportion of data in which additional information will be provided from time to time. The current set of graphs was used in previous articles and very specific trends are now starting to emerge.

The following broad shopping centre definitions (Table 1) are currently used to group the different IPD centres participating in this index.


The period under revision in this month’s edition of Shopping SA focuses on the retail performance index figures from March 2004 to March 2005, with emphasis on the last quarter of 2005.

Table 2 gives a summary of the latest (June/July 2005) economic indicators. Of the 11 indices indicated in Table 2 10 had a positive impact on retail performance. One of the best indicators in the country to measure the monthly mood as far as the general economy and general perceptions in the country are concerned, is SACOB’s Business Confidence Index.


According to all these indicators the impact on retail sales reflects a very positive trend. These trends are likely to continue.

IPD Performance Figures : General comparison of the three types of centres

All the graphs are back to normal trends after the high increase during the December peak.


On a year-on-year basis community centres showed the highest increase in trading densities (24%) while super regional centres had an increase of 12%. The trading density of regional centres remained at R1 174 on a year-on-year basis.


All rentals have shown a steady increase more or less equal to escalation rates. Regional centres increased by 7%, community centres by 11% and super regional centres by 5% per annum.


Community and regional centres have shown an increase of 7% and 6% respectively. Community centres have on average 19 visitors/m² per month compared to regional centres at 15 visitors/m² per month and super regional centres have shown a decrease of 1% from 13,9 visitors/m² per month to 13,8. A very consistent figure in this regard.


Money spent per capita increased for community and super regional centres by 8% and 12% respectively. The money spent per capita in regional centres decreased from R86 per capita in March 2004 to R75 per capita in March 2005. The super regional centres show the least fluctuations as far as per capita spend is concerned.