Major shopping malls in South Africa are seeing growth despite the challenging economic environment.

This is according to the Clur Shopping Index derived from the Clur Report, which tracks the performance of 4 million sqm of prime retail space in South Africa and Namibia for listed and unlisted property funds.

After the sharp 2021 recovery and 2022 growth surge, the Clur All Centres Index saw a steady contraction in 2023, outperforming CPI up until November 2023.

The full-year index for All centres closed at 4.9% y/y growth, underperforming CPI, which averaged 6.0% in 2023, by 1.1%.

However, larger centres, which saw the largest drop during the 2020/21 downturn, continued to lead growth in spite of a drop-off relative to 2022 levels.

This was especially the case for Super Regional Centres, which came in at 6.2% – the only segment to beat CPI.

Smaller centres, which displayed a stronger growth trend during the pandemic-led downturn, showed a softer contraction over the year.

That said, small regional centres significantly underperformed CPI, with growth of only 3.1% over 2022.

Centre Growth vs 2019 Growth vs 2022
Super Regional 24.6% 6.2%
Regional 11.3% 4.4%
Small Regional 13.6% 3.1%
All Centres 18.2% 4.9%

Larger centres have also maintained the highest annualised trading density levels, increasing from R39,032 per sqm in 2019 to R48,628 per sqm in 2023 for super-regional centres.

This was the steepest climb recorded despite the harsh economic and social headwinds facing the country.

Small regional centres have, however, shown improvement, increasing from R28,305 per sqm in 2019 to R32,158 per sqm in 2023.

Overall, All centres have shown an increase from R34,613 per sqm to R40,899 per sqm.

Centre Annualised Trading Density 2019 Annualised Trading Density 2023
Super Regional R39 032 R48 628
Regional R34 166 R38 022
Small Regional R28 305 R32 158
All Centres R34 613 R40 899