The fashion gateway of Africa - CNBC Africa

The fashion gateway of Africa

Southern Africa

by Thabile Manala 0

Sandton City has officially launched Diamond Walk as Africa’s super-luxury retail destination. PHOTO: Destiny Man

Diamond Walk is set to become the fashion gateway of Africa as the new hub for international global brands. It will be home to the likes of Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Louis Vuitton, Billionaire Italian Couture and Burberry among other equally big names.

Thabo Dloti, CEO of Liberty Group - which is 75 per cent part-owner of Sandton City, said when assurer and property manager conceived the idea it was bearing in mind that this mall attracts international visitors seeking “an international experience”, so it put brands in place that reflected that.

With Liberty’s track record of delivering performance from its property portfolio, Dloti said, “Sandton City is the single largest property where we are putting in new capital, that tells you something of why we keep putting in new capital? It’s because the returns are high." 

"It remains iconic not in just how it looks but it generates massive returns. You don’t attract 2 million shoppers a month if you are not doing well… it’s given our investors very good retrurns.”

Although boasting the success of Sandton City, Dloti recognised that the mall is a large portion of their portfolio, which from a risk point of view is not a good thing which is why they brought in Pareto as a partner owning 25 per cent.

Dloti said the major challenges with getting Diamond Walk established was to convince and bring the tenants to South Africa because typically they were worried about the size of the market.

Aspasia Karras, Editor of Marie Claire said, “There’s clearly enough confidence in the market as an aggregate of Africa. We attract a lot of shopping tourists, so where as before, Africans would shop for these brands in Dubai, maybe now they can just come down to Johannesburg.”

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