Sandton City offers an unparalleled retail experience with more than 330 shops in a contemporary, stylish setting. It is in the heart of the country’s most affluent playground and is the retail darling of Africa’s elite and fashion-forward.
It doesn’t stop Sandton City. At Menlyn Park shopping mall in Pretoria, a new fashion wing opened early this month with over 100 cutting edge fashion brands including Paris Hilton, C-Squared, Geri, Superdry and Palladium – all firsts for Pretoria. Across South Africa’s urban hotspots, malls are being developed at astronomical costs where premium labels pay mindboggling rentals to open their shops. Apart from the high rentals some of these retailers are willing to pay, spending on their shop spaces is on a grand scale.
The Diamond Walk Prada store, for one, is now Prada’s biggest in the world, covering 800 sq m and featuring black and white marble chequered flooring, crystal tables and velvet sofas. The answer to the proliferation of fashion and splurging lies partly in the fact that South Africa’s rich are getting richer and a rising middle class that now has more disposable income. Above-inflation wages and a relatively low inflation rate have fueled priority spending on designer labels despite hefty price tags. Until recently, South Africa wasn’t on the radar of the world’s top fashion and luxury brand. Now, the country is a premier destination for almost every major brand in Europe, UK and the US. The upshot of this explosion of fashion is that shoppers in South Africa now have an unprecedented variety of brands to choose from, (SH)
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