Malls in Africa has become the new catch word and new frontier for many global commercial enterprises given its expanding middle class and its insatiable appetite for every form of goods and services. In a decade Africa will be as large as Asia in population and every major brand name worth speaking of is staking a claim in the region. The flurry of development of malls in Africa major capitals such as Cairo, Lagos, Johannesburg and Nairobi is therefore not a surprise and research has shown that this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future.
A recent study by CBRE confirms these facts and shows that the African market has begun to receive growing interest from European retailers with South Africa being at the top of the list. CBRE is a global commercial real estate services and investment firm. The combined effect of China’s slowing economy and a growing middle class has made constructing malls in Africa attractive but the shortcomings surrounding infrastructure has made timing altogether uncertain.
In South Africa the 1.4 million square feet Mall of Africa is nearing completion. While the 226,000 square feet Palms Shopping Mall in Lagos adds to Circle Mall and Lekki Mall coming up in Nigeria. In Kenya the 660,000 square feet Two Rivers is nearing completion and adds to the recently opened Garden City are increasing retail space in Nairobi with other smaller malls in other cities in the country. This picture is being repeated in other major cities in Africa such as Dar es Salaam, and Addis Ababa.
South Africa understandably remains the most attractive market for mall developments in Africa because of the fact that wealth is not concentrated in the capital city but is spread out in several cities but Lagos’ population of 1 million makes it a very attractive proposition.