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THE PLACE TO BE

WRITTEN BY DON CAMPBELL

Clearwater Mall is the prime shopping destination in the western suburbs of Johannesburg situate in a rapidly expanding residential corridor. Malls have been around for a long time and taps directly into the human predication to community and collaboration. Combining retail outlets, entertainment venues and restaurants together malls have the responsibility to their tenants to draw in as many people as possible. To become the gleaming place-to-be for shoppers and youngsters around their location. Clearwaters Mall has for a long time stood out as one of the emblems of South African shopping culture and has undergone tremendous rennovations and developments since its opening in 2004 to keep with and ahead of the times and we spoke with Regional Executive Yvette Van Der Merwe from owner company Hyprop Investments regarding the story of this much loved and much visited shopping hub.


CLEARWATER MALL

First a quick look at the business behind Clearwater Mall, Hyprop Investments is a R23 billion listed REIT with 11 prime shopping centres across South Africa with over 700,000m2 of lettable area available. Clearwater Mall opened phase 1 in November 2004 and phase 2 in October 2010 with a GLA (gross lettable area) of 86,031m2.

“C

learwater

Mall

Operationally

has a welcoming

Mall

appeal that makes

for

Clearwaters

utilise cleaning,

companies security,

air

use of the famous South African

conditioning

sunshine,” Yvette details for us,

waste

maintenance,

“With a convenient layout and

management, landscaping, lift

a retractable roof in the food

and

court it provides an al fresco

camera equipment maintenance,

feel with trees and landscaping

fire

for shoppers to enjow. Natural

generator

stone, wood, glass and raw

counter monitoring, architects,

cement were used to enhance

structural engineers, mechanical

the natural look of the mall.”

engineers, roofing specialists,

management, escalator

parking

maintenance,

equipment

servicing,

servicing,

foot

smoke detection maintenance,

What Goes On Behind The Scenes “The core activity of the mall is to let retail space to retailers to ensure we satisfy the needs of our shoppers in terms of tenant mix,” Yvette specifies, “International retailers entering the South African market as well as new and upcoming

electricians, contractors

plumbers for

and general

maintenance. A lot of work happens behind the scenes that people visiting the mall have no idea about and should not ever be required to see.

The Staff Of The Mall

local brands are targeted to

Clearwater Mall has 21

differentiate the tenant mix of

permanent staff members and

our competitors.”

Hyprop

has

strict

company


policies and procedures on their training and conduct. An ethics hotline is in place and is managed by Hyprops appointed auditors. Some of the staff training that has been conducted includes training on HIV/Aids awareness, sexual harassment in the workplace and wellness training from a social responsibility point of view. “From a skills development point of view our handymen have been sent on basic maintenance training, our admin staff have done training on minute taking, Microsoft Office, and business writing.” Yvette explains. Nobody is exempt from the ongoing training, for example Vicky Vlock, The General Manager of Clearwaters Mall, is currently doing an advanced course in property leadership to further develop her already impressive catalogue of skills. Additional training has also been given to their marketing team on social media platforms to further the SEO footprint of the mall. “Training is important for Hyprop and every year staff members are encouraged to enhance their skills,” Yvette says, “Individual staff development is very important and it is the company’s priority to grow skills and knowledge internally before going out to market for expertise.”

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CLEARWATER MALL

Tenants And Visitors When it comes to the experience of the mall neither Hyprop nor the management of Clearwater Malls will accept anything but the best. A good reputation alone may not grow the value of a mall but a bad reputation can certainly damage it. With this in mind everything is carefully evaluated when it comes to the activities of the tenants who are the mall’s primary face-to-the-shopper. “We are very selective with the type of tenants we place in the mall, ensuring that only retailers with quality products are secured,” Yvette details, “Should we receive complaints regarding the service

any complaints they have a guest

of the competition and Yvette

relations officers and a policy

had this to say.

to actively request feedback

“Our key focus areas are to

from customers about their

ensure that our Tenant Mix in

experiences.

terms of offering, comparative

“Very importantly we focus

shopping, quality, value and

on customer loyalty programs

variety is always a notch above

and competitions that reward

our competitors,” she says, “New,

customers for purchasing at our

current and exciting international

shopping centre,” Yvette adds.

brands are constantly being sourced and our tenants are

or quality of products of our stores from customers, we deal with it immediately ensuring that the complaint reaches the owner of the business and we do follow ups with the Tenants and the aggrieved

required to do regular upgrades

Competition

of their stores to ensure that all

South Africa has a very

stores are in keeping with the

strong shopping culture and in

high aesthetic standards of the

It doesn’t do to skrimp on the little things because they’re sure

the country there are a plethora

mall.”

to be noticed. Clearwater Malls go to a great deal of effort to ensure

of shopping malls offering a

that their mall is a clean, safe and secure environment. Providing

range of different shopping

their shoppers with an excellent Tenant mix and ensure that their

experiences and entertainments,

“The centre has available bulk

shopping experience is as convenient, comfortable and enjoyable

with this in mind it takes a

should we wish to extend the size

as possible. To assist shoppers, answering queries and dealing with

strategic approach to keep ahead

of the centre and this may be in

shoppers to ensure that their complaints are resolved and that they are satisfied with the outcome.”

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the pipeline for the long term

mall but keeping them on a solid

future,” Yvette says, “We are

footing from which they can

also looking to expand one of

launch new projects, products

our anchor tenants and possibly

and initiatives to keep in the lead

create additional parking in the

of the industry.

more short term future.” There exciting within

have new the

“By

been

creating

additional

some

parking to improve convenience

developments

to our customers even further.

mall

interior:

We

have

also

invested

a

International retailers Mango

substantial amount of money in

will be opening before the end

upgrading our parking equipment

of the year and Tom Taylor has

and

just opened on the upper level

equipment and our bathrooms

of Clearwater Mall. Fossil will

have just been revamped,” Yvette

be opening before the end of the

concludes.

year and they have just opened the first Coco Bubble Tea and Yankee Candle in the country. All of these developments are bound to have exponential influence on the future of the

security

surveillance

“We are very selective with the type of tenants we place in the mall, ensuring that only retailers with quality products are secured.”


CLEARWATER MALL 27 1128 85260 WWW.CLEARWATERMALL.CO.ZA

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Clearwater Mall