Ballito Junction excels by adapting to meet the needs of its evolving community

Ballito Junction excels by adapting to meet the needs of its evolving community
Ballito Junction Regional Mall

Ballito Junction Regional Mall has seen strong sales and footfalls throughout the past 12 months, bouncing back to pre-pandemic levels – and higher.

With more than 200 stores over three shopping levels anchored by Pick n Pay, Woolworths, Checkers, Nu Metro, Game and Dis-Chem, Ballito Junction combines convenience with world-class shopping. The 80,000sqm mall in the vibrant heart of KwaZulu-Natal’s Dolphin Coast is owned by the investment consortium of Menlyn Maine Investment Holdings and Flanagan & Gerard Property Group.

Ballito Junction is owner-managed, and this passionate, hands-on approach has paid off for its customers and retailers at one of the most challenging times in KZN history.

Ballito Junction’s retailers are reporting positive turnover metrics, with some trading categories simply excelling. Its turnover growth over the last year has outstripped all others in Flanagan & Gerard’s portfolio of nine shopping centres in four provinces. Ballito Junction has kept an impressive occupancy rate of more than 99%. Even its restaurants have continued to trade as well as expected during the challenging pandemic months, and the mall’s family-oriented restaurants are doing noticeably well.

Geraldine Jorgensen, CEO of Ballito Junction, points out two key factors driving this success – the growing and evolving Ballito community and the agile response of the mall and its retailers to these changes.

The rise of a more mobile workforce due to the pandemic has accelerated the trend of semigration, and people are relocating from big cities to more relaxed environments like Ballito. New residents have been enticed to Ballito by the area’s increasing choice of schools, sprouting residential development, warm climate and a sought-after outdoor lifestyle. These attractions have seen a surge in families with school-going children moving to the area.

Jorgensen comments, “We have been spirited and energetic in catering to our expanded audience in the extensive catchment area of Ballito and its surroundings. Applying our expertise in rapidly evolving retail we have extended Ballito Junction’s homeware and furniture category, added more layers to its popular fashion variety, buffed up our athleisure selection and enhanced the convenience of a visit to the mall. Fortunately, this retail mix also appeals strongly to holidaymakers as the seaside stretch around Ballito remains an all-round favourite holiday destination. Ballito Junction strives to be a shopping, eating and meeting place where everyone is welcomed, and its excellent trading illustrates that it is genuinely living up to its purpose as a regional mall.”

New developments and residents in the area, together with an upsurge in redecorating as people spend more time at home, have led to a surge in demand for homeware and furnishings. Ballito Junction has been quick to respond, with upcoming new stores from Sleep Masters, Whitehouse, and the brilliant expansion of @Home Living Space.

Several stores have also been right-sized – primarily expanded – in light of shifting trends. All this indicates strong retail occupier confidence in the mall.

The results of Ballito’s Junction’s increasing, and loyal customer base, the mall’s nimble pro-activity, and the dexterity of its retail tenants are also evident in its robust metrics. Ballito Junction is enjoying a relative increase in weekday shopping trips as more people fulfil their daily needs at the mall. Footfall trends also reveal that shopper numbers outside of the peak holiday season are now closer to those during its busiest months.

“There is a good reason that Ballito is growing – it is a great place to live and a wonderful community. The mall values the tremendous support we receive from our locals.  Ballito Junction will continue following the needs of its community and bringing in the retailers that meet those needs.” concludes Jorgensen.