Incorporating the Swahili word for ‘market’ ‘soko’, Soko District aims to create a platform that "enables purpose-driven brands to create meaningful connections with their customers" through a flexible digital leasing platform, without the significant financial commitments in the traditional retail environment.
The district will partner with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to encourage customers to experience products first-hand rather than online, in a relatable space that fosters a sense of community and support for brands. It also plans to showcase new brands with the potential to grow beyond what may have been possible in a traditional retail setup.
"Soko District wants to enable retailers because if they succeed in this space, then Soko District does well too," the company said in a statement.
Each brand within the district has a completely customisable space, which means customers can easily recognise their favourite store. From a shopfitting perspective nothing goes to waste, said Soko District, with even shop branding being recycled into stylish shopping bags after use.
The first Soko District at Rosebank Mall will open on 30 July 2021. Below is a list of brands that will form part of the initial offering:
Mahone the Quiet Junkie
Era by DJ Zinhle
Just Rrrraw Chocolate
The Chairman Homeware & Furniture Co.
Mpahla Sneaker & Apparel
Lebo Got Eats
The Lollipop League