With SA boasting 60% of Africa’s total millionaires‚ international and local high-end retailers have been flocking to Cape Town’s central business district (CBD) to set up shop as the appetite for luxury goods continues to grow‚ the city’s Central City Improvement District (CCID) says.
SA is the only country on the continent with a developed luxury goods sector‚ according to global management consultancy firm‚ Bain & Company‚ which predicts that the local luxury goods market will grow between 20% and 30% over the next five years.
“The Cape Town CBD is well-positioned to offer shoppers a retail experience that is fast matching that of some of the world’s most recognised high-end shopping districts‚” said CCID chairman Rob Kane on Friday.
“While some high-end retailers may opt for a mall environment‚ the retailers in the Cape Town central city - much like their global counterparts - have opted to let the surrounds of the CBD form part of the overall package and retail experience for their clientele‚” Kane said.
He said that the retail offering of any CBD is one that needed to be diverse enough to cater to different markets.
“There is no denying the growing numbers of discerning luxury shoppers both locally and internationally‚ and the growing bouquet of high-end retailers in the Cape Town CBD is poised not only to meet the demand of the booming luxury sector‚ but to thrive with it as well‚” he said.
Elbeth Gillis‚ prominent couture and wedding dress designer based in Bloem Street‚ said the reason she chose to locate her business in the CBD instead of a shopping mall was that she would have the “freedom to set her studio’s operating hours and the rent is considerably less in the CBD”.
“We also prefer the vibe in the central city. There are a lot of small designer-type stores that complement each other‚ which turns the location into a creative hub‚” Gillis said.
It is all systems go as Cape Town prepares for its year as World Design Capital in 2014. At a press briefing on Friday‚ Grant Pascoe‚ mayoral committee member for tourism‚ events and marketing said that the first event next week would see the city’s representatives promoting Cape Town as the World Design Capital 2014 to the global design audience at the Design Week Forum in London.