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Foschini joins trend and moves to Gateway.

Posted On Wednesday, 23 April 2003 02:00 Published by
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Clothing retail group Foschini would join the trend and move into Durban's Gateway shopping complex by opening five stores in October, said Neville Budge, the group property director of Foschini.

Durban - Clothing retail group Foschini would join the trend and move into Durban's Gateway shopping complex by opening five stores in October, said Neville Budge, the group property director of Foschini.

The move by Foschini will reduce the number of vacant units at Gateway. There were 100 at the beginning of the year and there are now 55 that have not been taken up.

Budge said R5 million would cover the shopfitting costs of the new outlets. He would not say how much had been set aside for stock as it varied from store to store.

"All our stores in KwaZulu-Natal are doing well and we believe Gateway is going to be a strong shopping node in the near future because of the growth north of Durban," he said late last week.

The group initially believed it would not be a good move to establish stores in Gateway because it was too early to gauge its performance, he said. "We now believe that some of the major tenants are trading very well."
Ian Watt, the managing director of Old Mutual Properties, which owns the complex, welcomed Foschini's move.

"We have positioned our shopping complexes around the country to encourage shoppers to spend more time at the malls, which results in them spending more money," he said.

Old Mutual Properties also owns Riverside Mall (in Nelspruit), Menlyn Park (Pretoria), The Zone (Johannesburg), Vincent Park (East London) and Cavendish Square (Cape Town).

Since its opening in September 2001, Gateway has had more than 25 million visitors and year-on-year growth of 25 percent.

The R1.4 billion shopping complex, which has about 260 tenants, has had squabbles between Old Mutual Properties and small tenants.
In the past year, a group of 60 small tenants has complained that revenues did not match the rentals the landlord asked for.

Old Mutual Properties responded by roping in Re:solutions, a retail consulting company, to engage up to 50 of the tenants with rental problems.
Ninety assessments had been completed, and 15 stores had closed down or had had their leases cancelled, the company said.

Watt was optimistic that more tenants would join Gateway to take up 10 000m2 of vacant space.

The new stores at Gateway are Foschini, donna claire, the RJL division of Markhams, Sports Scene and Total Sports.

Foschini's stock closed unchanged at R11.70 yesterday.


Publisher: Business Report
Source: Zobuzwe Ngobese
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