Changing the Face of Retail

Lifestyle elements in the shopping experience

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We’ve seen a dramatic shift in how consumers engage with shopping spaces over the past few years. This has lead to much-needed innovation when it comes to the design and purpose of shopping centres. One such example is the Adelphi Centre in Sea Point. The centre is undergoing an extensive renovation which, once complete, will offer an ultra-luxurious galleria style shopping centre unlike any other seen on the Atlantic Seaboard or in Cape Town.

This landmark building on Sea Point’s Main Road has been purchased by property developers Da’Realty, who have embarked on a lifestyle re-development project that will see the tired old centre being rejuvenated into a cosmopolitan galleria that combines art and shopping in a unique new retail experience.

Set for completion in February 2018, the new centre is named Artem, meaning “to conceal art in its original form” and will boast a mix of exclusive international retail brands, carefully selected boutiques and lifestyle shops, artisanal eateries as well as a prestigious curated Art Gallery. This new gallery will serve to enhance and uplift the art scene in the vibrant and colourful inner city of Cape Town.

Redesign the experience
In keeping with Da’Realty’s brand guideline of creating buildings which are themselves works of art, art and visual beauty will be woven into the entire centre once complete, with art pieces being exhibited throughout the building in the public spaces.

“Deriving inspiration from elements of nature and using our signature details, we have challenged the artistic angle within the Artem development,” explains Ahsan Darvesh the president of Da’Realty. These details include soft mood lighting, enhancing the shopping ambiance; solid brass sanitary ware in restrooms; and a combination of soft and black metal awnings running long the street front.
The parking area, which features 150 parking bays, will undergo a special overhaul by township based street artists who have been commissioned to create graffiti art on all the walls. “The idea is to also help promote the work of emerging artists in this beautiful new galleria. The parking lot will serve as an exhibition space for these street artists, whose art is woven into Cape Town’s landscape,” says Ahsan.

Lily Eskandari, COO of Da’Realty goes on to explain that Artem will feature beautiful landscaping within the building that is extremely waterwise. “We have given the directive to install a combination of real and silk plants and greenery throughout Artem. Bringing elements of nature into our developments is key, however with water usage being such a critical point in the Western Cape, we chose to predominantly go with synthetic landscaping of the top-most quality.”

All of the retail and office space within Artem has been fully let and the tenant mix has been stringently assessed – with a unique mixture of offerings including coffee roasters, a beauty salon, bakery, and furniture store. Other convenience tenants include major retailers such as Pick ’n Pay, Clicks, and Spec-Savers.

The goal is to create a mixture of tenants that serve the needs of the local neighbourhood and surroundings, but which also each have a distinctive and unique product offering – so that no two tenants or offerings are the same.

Rethinking consumers

Dave Nemeth, trend forecaster and business consultant at Trend Forward, echoes the need for retail developers to rethink how they design and think about retail. “We want to be treated as individuals, so there’s a backlash towards clothing and spaces that follow a specific theme. People are beginning to realise that it’s contrived. Designers and product developers are now going back and drawing inspiration from age-old techniques and materials used to create things.”

Camilla Lor, the regional executive at Canal Walk, explains that personalisation plays a key role in a successful shopping experience. “From the design of their kicks to the shade of their lipsticks, people prize personalisation. They want to be recognised and communicated with as individuals. Integrating technology into the shopping experience, from social media to proximity mobile marketing, is helping malls deliver on personalisation. These technologies drive more insights into customers, which empower more personalised engagements. Malls will favour retailers who deliver personalisation to shoppers.”

Another key point she highlights is value: “Value means different things to different people and in different circumstances. Sometimes, value is simply the best price. It can be finding a product that is produced with values aligned to yours. There are many definitions of value, but you can be sure that people are reassessing every choice they make to see if they still find value in it.”

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