LIBERTY Two Degrees (L2D), which owns malls including Sandton City, Eastgate Shopping Centre and Liberty Midlands Mall, said foot count across its retail portfolio increased in October and November 2021 to near pre-Covid levels.
Its malls averaged 95 percent of 2019 levels in foot count over the past two months which, according to the real estate investment trust, was likely to continue into the festive season.
L2D’s malls also saw a foot-count growth of 26 percent compared with 2020, despite the impact of the growing use of online shopping and the discovery of the Omicron Covid-19 variant ahead of Black Friday this year.
L2D said customers had benefited from the month-long specials by tenants this year, which saw increased foot count on the Saturday after Black Friday.
“While the foot count was down on Black Friday compared to 2019, the trend was for retailers to market discounted prices for the entire month of November. As a result, foot counts and turnovers have benefited across various categories for November versus 2019,” said L2D chief operations officer Jonathan Sinden.
“Sandton City, in particular, experienced encouraging growth in turnover levels ahead of 2019 in many categories, with the largest quantum of the growth attributed to luxury brands and fine jewellery,” he said.
He said growth had been behind pre-Covid levels in the travel and luggage categories. Other categories impacted include books and stationery, and food services.
“While we don’t expect business to recover to pre-Covid levels immediately, it is encouraging to see the improvement in turnover and foot count across our malls,” he said.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE