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Retail in detail

Published: 18 October 2019


A word from the top: Andrew König, CEO

Operating from a place of purpose

At Redefine, what we offer goes beyond the bricks and mortar of our buildings. We want our buildings to empower people, which speaks to our purpose of creating and managing spaces in a way that changes lives.

This purpose-driven strategy is designed to mitigate risks and take advantage of opportunities. And our retail portfolio is central to this ambition. We recognise that shopper experience is the quintessential driving force in a competitive market – respecting time, individuality, choices, and the needs of each shopper are critical considerations in ensuring our continued relevance. Our focus, therefore, is to develop
outstanding places for modern consumer lifestyles.

We embrace and encourage innovation in our business to ensure that you, our valued tenants, benefit from proactive and practical solutions. Through initiatives such as the Challenge Convention, we seek to take this ambition further, innovating to meet tenant and shopper needs while integrating communities and meeting broader social needs. In fact, this year’s Innovation Challenge winner, Mary-Ann Mandishona, came up with an idea to not only increase the relevance of our malls, but deliver income generation for our shoppers through a recycling initiative powered by vending machines located in our malls. Read more about Mary-Ann and the Innovation Challenge in our newsletter.

From this example, and many others, we aim to make evident the fact that relationships are central to who we are and how we achieve our goals. We value the connection we have with you, our tenants and partners. Your business is a priority for us, and our experienced teams are available and committed to supporting you. We invite you to engage us with feedback or any questions you may have.

We look forward to collaborating with you to continue differentiating our malls in line with our strong sense of purpose.


In the know: with Nashil Chotoki, National asset manager

Finding our purpose in a pressured retail environment

It has been a challenging year for South African retailers with elevated household debt, higher fuel prices and an increase in value-added tax squeezing consumer spending and the continued rise in administered costs impacting the margins of both tenants and owners.

At Redefine, however, we continually strive to capture opportunities amidst the challenges. Recognising food and entertainment tenants as critical drivers for footfall, we increased these offerings at our larger assets with impressive results; with like-for-like sales trading density and footfall showing positive growth for the 12 months to the end of May 2019.

We have also seen encouraging sales growth from large format retail and convenience centres, as well as growth in categories such as groceries, food and restaurants as well as value fashion.

Figures as at 31 May 2019

With our focus continually on differentiating our malls, we remain focused on upgrading our properties and ensuring strong tenant mixes reinforced by new players and positioning of new international companies.

Furthermore, we recognise that to remain relevant, we need to think beyond the immediate and embrace a strategy that seeks to influence the future drivers of business success. We, therefore, continue to pursue innovative entertainment offerings for our shoppers to create an experiential element to our malls while ensuring we accommodate trends such as remote working with dedicated workspaces and pause areas, as well as the growing popularity of gaming through events and related experiences.

While online shopping continues to grow, we believe that retail space will remain a key point of contact for brands to showcase their products and create amazing customer experiences. This co-dependency of physical retail space and online shopping may still be in its infancy – as brands experiment with new and exciting ways of leveraging omnichannel experiences – but we remain focused on supporting our tenants in capturing the opportunities in this new frontier.

Ensuring we responsibly manage our natural resources is yet another key to our ongoing relevance. We, therefore, continue to invest in sustainability initiatives such as water efficiency, waste management and renewable energy solutions, which provide both long-term cost benefits while supporting business continuity in the face of growing resource scarcity.

Looking ahead

Ensuring that our retail centres are positioned correctly and that we retain our relationships with valued tenants, such as yourselves, will remain a top-of-mind priority. Our teams aim, at all times, to provide active and ongoing engagement to develop relationships where we can best respond to your needs.

Ultimately, we remain cognisant that our purpose is to create enjoyable and meaningful experiences in our centres, which, over time, enables our higher purpose of creating and managing spaces in a way that changes lives.


Leaders in retail: Jess Jorgensen

Influencers in the mix – cutting through the clutter

Jess Jorgensen, Director and Strategist at consumer insights research agency Instant Grass International, shares invaluable insights on how to embrace influencer marketing in SA in order to build brand equity and affinity – and a sales boost!

Are influencers indispensable?
Influencer marketing has grown rapidly in South Africa over the past five years, in line with global trends. We know that it’s a key part of any brand strategy, but it’s become a cluttered environment – with consumers now kicking back against social media feeds saturated with sponsored posts and campaigns. So, how does one cut through the clutter?

Influencers are a channel, not the message
Research gathered over the past six months, across categories from lifestyle, to FMCG, to retail, indicates that influencer campaigns are most often not that memorable – because there are just so many of
them. It’s a case of influencer campaigns for their own sake, rather than as a channel – amongst many potential channels – through which to relay a key brand concept/message or reach consumers.

Advocacy vs. reach
If you’re clear on your core campaign message, it’s easier to choose an appropriate influencer – and to determine what you want to achieve: Advocacy? Reach? Or something else? If you’re launching a new brand or event promotion where you want quick awareness, you want an influencer with reach. Whereas a more established brand/campaign might require an advocacy model to cement brand equity with consumers. It’s rare to find a single influencer who’ll embody the best of your brand, and act as a perfect advocate and channel.

Know your influencer
Influencers do not come ‘one-size-fits-all’. You need to align your marketing campaign with the influencer ‘type’. To guide you, we’ve identified three main influencer categories: micro, macro and career.

Part of your brand DNA

Ultimately, as a living, breathing channel option for your brand message, campaign or concept, the ideal relationship is a natural engagement between your brand and an individual (and, by default, their followers) with aligned values. Natural and credible advocacy is only truly memorable if in alignment with your brand DNA.

In an environment where consumers are quick to ‘cancel’ brands, knowing when, why and how to partner with influencers is key for brand relevance and brand love – and increased sales!


Leaders in retail: Yuppiechef

From online to in-store: How homeware and culinary disruptor Yuppiechef is going back – or forward! – to bricks and mortar

Back in 2006, Yuppiechef was founded by two good friends with only 32 products – in a lounge in Plumstead, Cape Town! More than a decade later, SA’s premier online kitchen and homeware hub has moved from clicks to bricks. We sat the team down and asked them what’s behind their rebirth as omnichannel retailer.

Why is Yuppiechef opening more physical stores?
A large portion of the South African market is not entirely comfortable shopping online. We want to make the shopping experience as easy as possible for our customers, whether they like to shop online or in-store. They can browse actual products on the shelf, speak to a shop assistant and then choose to have their purchase delivered directly to their home. It’s a seamless integration of the physical and online world.
With many experts predicting the death of physical stores in the face of the rise of online retail, why are we seeing a rebirth of the ‘bricks and mortar’ store?
Ecommerce is brilliant, and in some categories it makes complete sense, but the fact is that online retail still only constitutes about 2% of retail in SA. That is because people like the physical shopping experience – browsing, getting advice, the immediacy of purchase, seeing and being seen.
How has Yuppiechef translated the online experience into the physical space?
We have embarked on a major strategic shift, from trading as an ecommerce site, to a move into ‘omnichannel’ retail. We want customers to experience our brand on their own terms, whether that’s online, on the phone or in a store. We have integrated online customer reviews into the price labels in the store, as well as scannable QR codes that access more product information. We’re now positioned to cover anything that can be bought in-store and delivered to a home, or bought online and collected in the store.
To what do you attribute the success of the clicks-to-bricks transition?
South Africa still has one of the highest mall-to-population ratios in the world, and we are fortunate to be starting our physical store builds in a trough, where we can prudently pick the best locations and not be over-supplied. And the unlimited shelf-space of ecommerce has allowed us to grow a large range which we can cherry-pick from for our stores, using rich customer data. We have a strong technology base to build on top of, so that our online/offline integration is seamless and modern.
How do you remain true to the online component of the business while venturing into another channel?
We have been very deliberate about branding ourselves internally as ‘Yuppiechef, the retailer’, rather than as an ecommerce or a physical player. We are trying to build a business that understands that the divide between the channels is very blurry. Customers browse online, come into a store to transact, and have the items delivered to their homes from our warehouse. Is that an ecommerce sale or a store sale? Online is still bigger than our stores, but we are working hard to treat them both as equally important.
What makes the Yuppiechef brand special?
Yuppiechef is uniquely positioned to pioneer omnichannel retail, for these reasons:

Trend central: John Sanei

From profit to purpose: how ‘cause’ consumerism and purpose-led organisations are revolutionising retail

It’s hard to put John Sanei in a box. He’s an imagineer, a trenovator and a visionary who spends his days helping global businesses, brands and governments prepare for the future. No, he’s not a Doomsday prepper – he’s Africa’s first Singularity University faculty member, and he’s on a mission to shape our understanding of the unknown and help us find our higher purpose in the process.

John grew up in a single-parent family, and made and burned his way through a few fortunes at a prodigiously young age. This cycle of abundance and loss of abundance made him an early adopter of future thinking, as he tried to figure out how to turn victimhood into victorhood. ‘If I hadn’t been bankrupt, I wouldn’t have got where I am today,’ he acknowledges. And this formed the foundation for his insistence on developing one’s AQ – or Adaptability Quotient – which is all about turning obstacles into opportunities. So how do we apply this AQ to retail?

John believes that, in all matters consumer-related, convenience is key. If a shopping trip is a schlepp across a vast hinterland of stores, consumers are going to want to buy their goods online. Consumers want AI, they want algorithms, and they want hyper levels of convenience. But the good thing is that consumers still crave community – in John’s words, ‘the barista, the baker, the candlestick maker’ – and so retailers need to curate artisanal marketplaces or nodes where people can gather.

But to build the marketplace of the future, you need to distinguish between innovation, disruption and revolution. Innovation, according to John, is simply doing what you did yesterday – but just better and more efficiently. Disruption is about making your current business model obsolete – it takes bravery.

And revolution is about building a whole new type of entrepreneur. And that entrepreneur is not so worried about profit as about purpose and impact. If your business is all about turning profit, future consumers will be turned off and won’t trust you. When online plant-based superfoods store Amazonia received a $10 million tax rebate, they invested it in land rehabilitation and reclamation – and their online sales soared. Purpose-led businesses are no longer a choice, but the only rational answer for long-term sustainability to meet the needs of future consumers.

John asks businesses the question: With four billion people connected to the internet, how quickly can you ‘reskin’ yourself? John suggests ‘unlearning’ the things you’ve learnt, letting go of heritage models of behaviour and forming new habits. That’s tough for businesses to do, as we’re all facing the ‘expert problem’ – when something doesn’t fit into the construct we’ve been taught, we can’t see it. So, how can businesses escape this form of tunnel vision and ‘see’ beyond their own capabilities? John recommends taking 20% of your budget to build a tech team away from the business – a team whose sole purpose is to dream up the future. A team of ‘crazy ones’ who, through exponential rather than linear thinking, will create the future.

To read more about John’s visions for the future, check out his books:
What’s Your Moonshot?, Magnetiize and FOREsight, and/or visit


In the spotlight

A stylish and strategic upgrade to the super-regional Centurion Mall

Following a comprehensive and carefully considered upgrade, Centurion Mall is now Redefine’s largest asset in the retail portfolio – and a leading leisure and shopping destination.

Conceptualised to deliver a unique experience that meets and exceeds the evolving expectations of our visitors, the enhancements include:

  • A new open-air concept, incorporating a sculpture park and covered children’s play area with more vegetation
  • Comfortable interiors
  • Family and baby room upgrade
  • Additional retailers, including more food and entertainment
  • Upgraded walkways
  • A new kiddies’ movie theatre and retail outlets
  • A redesigned food court area
  • A Planet Fitness gym
  • A multi-million-rand, state-of-the-art taxi rank (commenced), adjacent to the mall
  • A new Connect Centre

Centurion Mall stats

The redevelopment, spread over three phases, saw the upgrading of the Checkers mall, which includes a Blue Label Checkers of 7 300sqm in the final phase, with a new H&M anchor store at the Checkers entrance. The closure of Gordon Hood Road alongside the new entrance will add more parking in the future.

The lower ground-floor mall area nearest to the lake has been redesigned to incorporate a new food court, anchored by established restaurants like O’Galito, Spur, Ocean Basket and Mochachos, with Fortune Dragon opening in September. The ground floor features a new Mugg & Bean, as well as a new model Exclusive Books.

“People want more than just convenience. It’s not just about shopping. People, by nature, are social beings, and consumer habits are changing. Similarly, people demand differentiation. Centurion Mall’s refurbishment was guided by these strategic insights, which also informed our decision around the tenant mix.”

Centurion has quickly established itself as a prominent node, and today ranks as one of the fastest growing urban areas in South Africa. Many of the country’s large blue-chip corporates have a presence here, with residential property developments continuously expanding the city limits.

Renovation station

Construction starts on the state-of-the-art taxi rank at Centurion Mall

At Redefine, we’re on a drive to make our malls more meaningful to our surrounding communities, and to give back and integrate those communities into our spaces. We have thus proudly partnered with the City of Tshwane, and construction has commenced on a multi-million rand state-of-the-art taxi rank on the corner of South Street and Hendrik Verwoerd Drive in Centurion’s CBD.

Taxi rank stats

The rank will be operated by the Centurion Taxi Association, and will be managed by CoT, Centurion Mall and the association.

“We are happy that this project is directly linked to Centurion Mall. This speaks to our vision to make sure that public transport, for both commuters and operators, is able to function in a safe space that benefits the people. This is an example of what we want to do around the entire city, in partnership with private industry.”


“The new facility betters the commuting options for residents to help connect them to work, schools, medical facilities and shopping. Connectivity is a key element of our comprehensive regional transit strategy, and contributes to economic growth by efficiently connecting people and job opportunities.”


“The taxi rank will ease travel to and from the mall, provide commuters and families with a safe and reliable transit hub, help create local jobs, grow the economy and help people in their everyday lives. The project, a public-private partnership, meets our goals of fundamentally changing lives and solving problems the community and commuters are facing.”

Redefine is in the process of prioritising the most pressing needs of our communities, and finding innovative ways to deliver tangible outcomes.


Innovation station

Shopping today is so much more than just shopping; it’s a social activity, and shoppers in these hyper-connected times expect to be entertained and engaged. We thus piloted our first free three-hour Wi-Fi solution at The Boulders shopping centre back in October 2017.

The Boulders subsequently wanted to monetise its Wi-Fi network by offering paid marketing opportunities to its tenants. Using Skyfii’s guest Wi-Fi portal and location-based marketing tools, they ran a campaign to prove to tenants the platform’s potential as a marketing channel.


  • The Wi-Fi login portal experience was customised, presenting a “Spin to Win” game to shoppers as they accessed the Wi-Fi
  • To play the game, shoppers clicked on an image of a spin wheel, and received an SMS message with a link to play the game on their device
  • Shoppers that played the game could win a variety of prizes, and redeem them at the info desk


The success at The Boulders lead Redefine, with the support of Xpertek Contact, and using the globally renowned Skyfii platform, to establish a fast-paced installation schedule to deploy Wi-Fi to 14 additional malls over 10 months.

Standardising all systems helped speed up deployment and reduce costs. We have deployed over 200 Access Points (APs) across these malls, and the final two malls, Centurion Lifestyle and Centurion Mall, went live in June 2019. We now own the Wi-Fi network across 15 malls, as well as shopper databases, and behavioural and marketing data.

Results (end June 2019)

We have dramatically increased our ability to gather intelligence about what motivates our customers, what times and days of the week they visit, how they move in our malls, which entrances they use, which zones they don’t visit, and even what type of cell phones they use.

We have the freedom to apply this data how we choose, from analysing it to create new digital services, to leveraging customer information to deliver personalised messages, from creating custom campaigns on the login page to sending targeted SMSs.


  • Market research and consumer insight
  • Marketing campaigns with custom-built spin wheels and shopper voting mechanisms
  • Detailed reporting per building in a monthly PDF
  • Live dashboard which can be accessed 24/7 online and in real time across all 15 malls
Along with this, each mall management team is provided with a summarised report on a monthly basis, produced by Xpertek Contact.

Summary of key stats per mall

The platform has also stayed true to its primary purpose as a non-GLA income stream. With over one million impressions per month, the platform has become a preferred out-of-home digital media choice for many advertisers. Brands that have advertised on our network to date include MTN, Cell C, Vodacom and Debonairs.

The results to date have exceeded all expectations, and have demonstrated the importance of hyper-connected mall spaces.

New developments

Adding value through recent additions

The new R67.6 million development at Centurion Lifestyle Centre was completed in February 2019, with Stodels Garden Centre as the first tenant in July 2018. Decathlon Sport Megastore followed in December 2018, with Jonsson Workwear Depot starting to trade in February 2019.

Each of these new tenants has added substantial value to the existing tenant mix, providing a comprehensive lifestyle destination for shoppers, with interactive features that make for an engaging shopping experience.

Centurion Lifestyle Centre stats

Centurion Lifestyle Centre also boasts Redefine’s largest solar PV plant installation to date. We’re proud of our sustainability efforts, as we aim to add value through our green interventions.

Centurion Lifestyle Centre solar PV stats


The Mentorship Challenge,
with Arnold Schwarzenegger

A highlight of Season 2 of The Mentorship Challenge was Marc Wainer’s exclusive interview with the legendary Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 2019 Arnold Classic Africa. Offering everything from piloxing to pole fitness, canoe polo and cardio tennis to cos play and cricket, tag rugby and ten pin bowling to table tennis and team chess, fencing to figure skating and futsal, the Arnold Classic Africa, which ran from 17-19 May 2019, is undoubtably the greatest sporting event on the continent.

Marc Wainer and Arnold Schwarzenegger hit it off right from the start, and their conversation covered everything from property to powerlifting. Arnold spoke candidly about those who helped him on his own entrepreneurial journey: “I am not a self-made man. I got a lot of help. Like everyone, to get to where I am, I stood on the shoulders of giants.”

Arnold is living proof of the remarkable power of mentorship in the world of sport and fitness. Season 2 of The Mentorship Challenge broke new ground by recording live from campuses and corporate events across South Africa – reaching a rich range of people from diverse backgrounds, and bringing them together to build a better SA.

Click here to catch all the mentorship heavyweights from Season 2 in action. And visit to sign up as a mentor or mentee.


Changing lives:
Our people. Our places. Our way.

In an economic climate where the retail sector has been hardest hit, purposeful innovation is the key to our future, to our collective prosperity and well-being, and to our continued relevance.

Through the Innovation Challenge and the Challenge Convention, which launched at Maponya Mall in Soweto in October 2018, we wanted to manage our impact on our communities, and their impact on us. Through these innovative initiatives, we were able to engage more fully with tenants, community members and other key stakeholders, to determine a way to integrate our mall spaces into the communities in which we operate, to improve on our deliverables, and to enable our tenants and other stakeholders to feel a sense of ownership in the direction our malls are taking.


The Innovation Challenge

This nationwide competition was launched across South Africa in October 2018 to source sustainable solutions and harvest innovative ideas that could transform office, retail and industrial spaces, for the benefit of the communities who live, work and play in and around these spaces.

The goal was to generate ideas from entrepreneurs and innovators from all walks of life, that would help us to re-imagine our physical spaces. We aimed to empower individuals and communities to think beyond their boundaries and create big, single-minded solutions to enhance and evolve our South African way of life.

The winning idea would bring its originator R1 million in cash – and the opportunity to negotiate additional support to the value of R9 million with the dealmaker himself, Marc Wainer.

In its first year, the Innovation Challenge attracted 1 250 entries from across the country. Through a rigorous judging and mentoring process, the entries were whittled down to a final five, and on 9 April 2019, the entrants were put through their paces and grilled before a legendary trio of taskmasters:

  • Marc Wainer himself, the founder and executive chairman of Redefine Properties, who started his own business journey with nothing more than a matric and enough confidence to fill a mall. Since then, this property pundit and legendary dealmaker has built nothing less than a property empire. Marc’s signature modus operandi is to get out there and kick the bricks.
  • Bridgitte Mathews, an independent non-executive director on Redefine’s board who sits on several other high-powered boards and trusts, and is also a qualified CA and founder of her own management consultancy, Ca Vie Investments. Bridgitte is fearless and feisty, and brings her own unique brand of humour, wit and warmth to her work world.
  • Vusi Thembekwayo, that tour de force, global speaker, venture capitalist and author, who, at the age of 25, ran a R400 million division in a R17 billion multi-national, and today drags companies kicking and screaming towards self-realisation. He’s been called a revolutionary and a maverick, and he owns these appellations with pride.

And the winner was...

Mary-Ann Mandishona, who scooped top honours with her Cash4Trash concept.

Mary-Ann’s Cash4Trash concept is an income-generating recycling initiative powered by vending machines located in Redefine malls. They’ll be strategically located in Green Zones in the mall, and the community can bring through their recyclable trash to be converted into usable coupons inside the mall.

Commenting on her Innovation Challenge journey, Mary-Ann said: “We were able to access so many resources on this journey, from the proof-of-concept to the prize, and I look forward to working with Redefine and the mentors I met through the competition to help further develop my idea.”

CEO Andrew König was particularly impressed by the solutions proposed by the contestants: “This is our investment in entrepreneurs all over South Africa, building a unique network to unlock informal business structures, to create an entrepreneurial culture and to provide critical support for the ‘next generation’ of tenants, employees and suppliers.”

The next Innovation Challenge will be announced towards the end of 2019.

The Challenge Convention: #IfIHadItMyWay

We say that we’re not landlords, we’re people. And although we deal with spaces and places, it is people who bring them to life. On 10 October 2018, we launched the Challenge Convention at Maponya Mall in Soweto to engage with, uplift and inspire the people who live near, visit, work and play in Maponya Mall. Through a series of surveys, focus groups and #IfIHadItMyWay workshops, we gave the community the opportunity to suggest how Redefine could work with them to help them achieve meaningful change.

At our conventions, live forum-style events that brought together all our stakeholders, we were able to get inside the heads of key community leaders, influencers, NGOs, local councillors and entrepreneurs, tenants and shoppers, students and graduates, and all those who love and know their neighbourhood. It was our way of getting to know their way, their people, and their places, to make our shopping malls a part of their world.

Through the Challenge Convention, we identified challenges and changes, pain points and possibilities, and the ways we could overcome or implement these. Within a few weeks, the mall made access to Wi-Fi a reality for shoppers and businesses, employed 15 permanent security guards, installed additional lighting in parking lots and other areas around the building, acquired generators to ensure continued lighting during power outages, and purchased a golf cart to transport pensioners and disabled people on mall property. In addition, exhibition space valued at R1 million was donated for use by entrepreneurs in the surrounding community to display and sell their products.

The Maponya Mall programme is just the first of several similar initiatives that Redefine will undertake with communities around many of our key buildings in other parts of South Africa in the coming months and years.

The engagement sessions gave us the opportunity to hear the community, in their own voices, and to embrace their solutions. These insights will enable us to reach towards a higher purpose: to change lives, upskill young entrepreneurs and fully integrate local community needs into our spaces.


Redefine’s Integrated Report ranks third
in EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards 2019

Our steadfast commitment to report on our journey to deliver sustained value creation to all our stakeholders, through a purpose-driven strategy in a transparent way, continues to receive recognition. After consistently placing in the Top 10 in the EY Excellence in Integrated Reporting Awards since 2015, Redefine was awarded third place in the latest EY rankings of the Top 100 JSE-listed companies for excellence in integrated reporting.

Our consistent achievement underscores the high value we place on monitoring, measuring and reporting on our environmental, social and governance obligations, and demonstrates our integrated approach to making strategic choices to position Redefine to stay on course in our mission to deliver sustainable value. Redefine was the only REIT in the Top 10.