Despite reports that Rail Park mall tenants are faced with grim challenges, Khumo Property Asset Management, the company managing the retail space, has expressed satisfaction with the way the facility has performed to date.
Khumo Property Chief Executive Officer, Outule Bale, revealed that the shopping mall is currently 90 percent occupied, and only 10 percent tenants have left since its opening two years ago.
“The first two years of any shopping mall are critical as they entail the natural evolution process of a mall. This is common in the retail sphere as between 5 and 10 percent of tenants do not survive in the first two years,” said Bale.
Speaking at the mall’s second anniversary, Bale said the mall is doing just fine considering since starting operations they have lost only ten percent of tenants and retained the rest.
Tenants have been faced with challenges of leakages, substandard services, and low trade figures in some parts of the mall. The mall boasts 115 stores.
“Whatever was planned in the beginning needs to be rectified, the mall needs to settle down, find its own market and create an environment that is conducive for tenants to thrive,” he said
He revealed that they have embarked on a project that they are looking forward to put to the board to improve the caliber of tenants that will be housed at the mall.
Among shops found at the mall are Truworths, Options, Markham, Identity Food Lovers Market, Choppies Hypermarket, Debonairs Pizza, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chicken Licken and furniture stores like Ellerines, Beares and food Lovers Market.
“We are not interested in seeing high numbers of people who come at the mall instead we want to see people who buy,” said Bale. Rail Park Mall monthly foot traffic stands at 940 000.
Bale also said a new “exciting” tenant is expected at the mall in the near future. “This will improve the amount of buying feet and add more variety to the already exciting blend of shops currently operating at the mall,” he said.
With the many other ventures planned, the Rail Park Mall is expected to be a one-stop, family friendly and easily accessible shopping experience for all.
The eight hectare mall, whose construction gobbled P350 million, is jointly owned by local institutional investors.
Rail Park Mall is a joint partnership between Botswana Railways through its property subsidiary – BR Properties – Bifm, Eris Botswana and Tredinnick. BR Properties owns close to 70 percent of the property.