Certain retail categories, such as eyewear and optometrists perform better in January. Black Friday and Back to School specials do not appear to be having an impact on the market, when compared to December’s festive trade, although slight differences were evident in November 2016, for certain retail categories.
“Black Friday has been growing in popularity and perhaps when more retailers take part in this one-day promotion, more significant changes may become evident in the near future,” explains Elaine Wilson, divisional director: research for Broll Property Group.
According to the report, the best performing tenants in December were those in the accessories, jewellery and watches category, although performance has been declining over the last three years, likely due to consumers being under pressure. This was followed by the food and electronics categories. Sportswear and outdoor tenants have been recording notable increasing trading densities in December over the last three years, an indication of fitness becoming more predominant in the market, as is evident by the increased number of fitness facilities and events over recent years.
“High ticket items still remain popular, as consumers rely on their December bonuses to ‘spoil reward’ themselves,” says Jill Turnbull, divisional director for property management.
In the Eastern Cape, the group’s retail portfolio executive Nigel Hale says although December was the best performing month in rand turnover value, November was one of the best growth months for 2016 for various tenants. “December in Port Elizabeth always sees a benefit of the extra out-of-town visitors, along with the holiday season which increases tenant performance, usually to double the average turnover per month compared to the rest of the year. Black Friday provided a month-end boost to many tenants, but maybe not to the level that was anticipated.”
In KwaZulu-Natal, retail categories that performed well in December include apparel, electronics, food services, health and beauty, homeware, furniture and interior, speciality, services as well as sportswear and outdoor. Some malls increased sales on 16 December, at the same time saw an increase in footfall and monthly achieved turnover, explains Theresa Terblanche: group director for property management for coastal region (SA) and Mauritius.
“It would appear that Black Friday in November 2016 affected the trading performance in food as well as health and beauty, as in these categories, marginal growth showed when compared to November and December turnover data. Electronics and homeware, furniture and interior categories decreased moderately when comparing December to January trading performance.
“KwaZulu-Natal retail sales for sportswear and outdoor as well as homeware, furniture and interior increased over December, attributable to the festive season and possible remodelling of home. Tenants selling second-hand goods also showed notable growth in sales and turnover in December.”