Vukile The malls have years
“What’s up with retail property in these post-COVID days?” you ask, even though COVID is still with us, albeit in currently less deadly variants. Let’s ask specialised retail property fund Vukile, shall we, who have a significant portfolio of malls both in Spain and here in the Beloved Country, where they are about to acquire another two, in undisclosed locations. “We operate in the sweet spot in the SA market, with significant exposure to brilliantly performing township and rural shopping centres, where trading densities are up 10.2% and 6.9%, and footfalls are up 106% and 104%, respectively,” says CEO Laurence Rapp, getting right into it. Vukile has R33bn in assets under management, 46% of it in South Africa, where vacancies are at 2.6%, and 54% in Spain, with vacancies of 1.6%. Vukile is a big believer in sustainable malls and has just signed off on its first green loan with Nedbank, to fund 19 solar energy projects and energy-efficiency initiatives in South Africa, with the intention of upping its sustainable energy consumption by at least 50% over the next three years.
Comment: Reports of the demise of bricks and mortar (and photovoltaic panel) retail turn out to have been much exaggerated.