Market Sector

As a market sector, retail is resilient and remains one of the largest sectors in the KwaZulu-Natal economy. High levels of urbanisation, a developed supply chain and a growing middle to high-income class continue to drive the development of the retail sector in the region.

Retail Sub-Markets


Large platformed areas, particularly those with good access and exposure, accommodate big box retail facilities and showrooms. These big box centres fulfil a specialised destination role and provide a unique retail offering where a single, large retailer occupies a free-standing building.

This remains an area for further growth, including the introduction of international operators increasing their footprint in Africa and the provision of retail facilities serving a broader African market with air and highway accessibility. Similar locations are potentially attractive for the self-storage sector, which is a niched real estate use, showing interesting prospects for expansion in South Africa.


Regional Shopping Centres offer large scale, destination retail with an entertainment component. These centres often catalyse the establishment of a mixed-use node, with retail facilities, offices, hotels, residential development and entertainment all in close proximity.

Regional Shopping Centres need access to a major arterial road, usually a provincial road linked to a national road, offering very high accessibility and visibility.

A prime example of this type of development is the new Cornubia Shopping Mall adjacent to uMhlanga and the already well-established Super-Regional Gateway Theatre of Shopping.


The function of these centres is mainly express convenience and aim to satisfy the basic needs of residents within one or two adjoining suburbs. Such a facility can be a single building or a number of buildings close together, providing a single destination that could include a food store, takeaway, banks and ATM facilities.

Convenience Retail Centres are usually located on main streets or intersections within suburbs and are often located within walking distance of a large proportion of the population. Proximity to commuter nodes adds to the viability and success of a Convenience Centre.

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