Lower end retail said to benefit from socal grants allocation

Posted On Thursday, 26 February 2009 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial News
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Finance Minister Trevor Manuel’s allocation of an additional R13,2-bilion to the social grants programme bodes well for ApexHi Properties Limited’s one million square meter retail portfolio

David Rice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ApexHi’s retail portfolio, which is spread across the country, predominantly serves commuter market consumers, who have been thrown a life line in Government’s aim to protect the poor and promote employment growth in this year’s budget.

ApexHi MD David Rice says the additional funds allocated to the 13-million people who qualify for social grants and pensions, will ultimately be spent to purchase food and necessities at its retail centres, which cater for the lower to middle income consumers.

“Our research has shown that despite the downturn in the economy, the spend per head at our retail centres has not declined because these consumers have been less affected by interest rate hikes. However, the customer is getting less for his money due to the effects of increased food and transport costs. We anticipate that the relief provided by the budget will allow our consumers to spend more on the goods they have had to go without or cut back on, such as clothes and furniture,” he says.

Rice adds that ApexHi’s retail portfolio has continued to perform well despite the downturn in the economy. “Our retail rentals on renewal have increased by 20%, the vacancies in the retail sector have decreased from 7,9% to 5,4%, and we have not seen an increase in defaulting payments.
“Apart from the social grants, the 2009 budget has benefitted the households of lower and middle income earners in terms of tax relief and the promotion of employment growth.

“Although 2009 is anticipated to be a tough year for many, we are not yet seeing the effects of the economic downturn on our retail portfolio,” says Rice

 

Last modified on Friday, 18 April 2014 11:08

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