SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.11 issue1The experience of work-life interaction in the Northern Cape mining industry: An exploratory studyTracking SMME research in South Africa's priority sectors author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences

On-line version ISSN 2222-3436
Print version ISSN 1015-8812

S. Afr. j. econ. manag. sci. vol.11 n.1 Pretoria Apr. 2008




The impact of shopping mall development on small township retailers



AA Ligthelm

Bureau of Market Research, University of South Africa




The retail sector forms a critical element of a community's economic and social welfare. It provides people with choices and services. These choices were until recently very limited in township areas. The pre-1994 retail landscape was dominated by small, often informal businesses offering basic household necessities to relatively low income earners. This has resulted in township residents' preference to shop outside townships, known as 'outshopping'.
Rapid income growth of township residents since 1994 resulted in a substantial increase in consumer expenditure in these areas, known as 'in-bound shopping'. This lucrative emerging market forms the last retail frontier in South Africa and is being explored by national retailers, especially supermarket chains. This article is aimed at establishing the impact of shopping mall development in townships on the traditional small township retailers including spaza/tuck shops.
The net balance sheet on the impact of shopping mall development on small township retailers clearly suggests a decline in the township retailers' market share. A change in small business model towards, inter alia, effective customer service with a small dedicated assortment of merchandise, satisfaction of emergency needs, selling in small units and extension of credit facilities may result in the survival of some small township retailers (albeit often at a smaller turnover).

JEL: L81



“Full text available only in PDF format”




1 CITY OF JOHANNESBURG (2005) Soweto Retail Strategy 2005, Department of Finance and Economic Development: Johannesburg.         [ Links ]

2 CITY OF TSHWANE (2006) Geographical Information System, (Accessed 9 February 2007).         [ Links ]

3 COHEN, J. (1988) Statistical Power Analysis for tht Behavioural Sciences, Hillsdale: New York.         [ Links ]

4 DE VYNCK, D. (2005) "Emerging black middle class flexes muscles", Business Report, 10 July.         [ Links ]

5 EPROP COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOUTH AFRICA (2004) "Soweto to get R250m shopping mall", (Accessed 7 March 2007).         [ Links ]

6 EPROP COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOUTH AFRICA (2005) "R80m shopping centre expected to boost township's development", (Accessed 7 March 2007).         [ Links ]

7 EPROP COMMERCIAL PROPERTY SOUTH AFRICA (2006) "National retailers sign-up as construction on Maponya Mall gets underway", (Accessed 7 March 2007).         [ Links ]

8 GLUE METRIC & LILANDA HOLDINGS (2006) Culture Cruizzzing: My Health, Johannesburg.         [ Links ]

9 LEVY, M. & WEITZ, B. (2007) Retailing Management (3rd ed.) McGraw Hill/Irwin: New York.         [ Links ]

10 LEWISON, D.M. (1997) Retailing Management (6 ed.) Prentice-Hall, Inc: New Jersey.         [ Links ]

11 LIGTHELM, A.A. (2001) Small-Scale Enterprise Development in the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality: Problems and Future Prospect, Unisa, Bureau of Market Research: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

12 LIGTHELM, A.A. (2002) Characteristics of Spaza Retailers: Evidence from a National Survey, Unisa, Bureau of Market Research: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

13 LIGTHELM, A.A. (2004) Informal Markets in Tshwane: Entrepreneurial Incubators or Survivalist Reservoirs? Unisa, Bureau of Market Research: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

14 LIGTHELM, A.A. (2005) Measuring the Size of the Informal Sector in South Africa, Bureau of Market Research, Unisa: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

15 LIGTHELM, A.A & MASUKU, T (2003) Size, Structure and Profile of the Informal Retail Sector in South Africa, Unisa, Bureau of Market Research: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

16 LIGTHELM, A.A & RISENGA, A. (2006) The Impact of Retail Development in Emerging Markets on Small Township Retailers, Bureau of Market Research, Unisa: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

17 MCGOLDRICK, P.J. (1998) Retail Marketing, McGraw-Hill: London.         [ Links ]

18 MUNICIPAL DEMARCATION BOARD (2006) Municipal Profiles,         [ Links ]

19 NEWMAN, A.J. & CULLEN, P. (2003) Retailing: Environment & Operations (2003 reprint) Thomson: London.         [ Links ]

20 RADEBE, S. (2005) "Township shopping: It's not Sandton doll", Financial Mail, 28 July.         [ Links ]

21 TAGG, G. (2006) Franchising: The Cornerstone for Shopping Centres and the Retail Industry, South African Council of Shopping Centres: Johannesburg.         [ Links ]

22 TUSTIN, D.H. & STRYDOM, J.W. (2006) "The potential impact of formal retail chains' expansion strategies on retail township development in South Africa", Southern African Business Review, 10(3).         [ Links ]

23 VAN AARDT, C.J. (2005) A Class-Based Population Segmentation Model for South Africa, 1998-2008, Bureau of Market Research, Unisa: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

24 VAN WYK, H.D.E.J. (2006) Personal Income of South Africans at National and Provincial Levels by Population Group, Income group, Life Stage and Life Plane, Bureau of Market Research, Unisa: Pretoria.         [ Links ]

Creative Commons License All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License