Cape Town - Retailer confidence in the city centre is growing, with this sector providing at least 10 000 formal jobs.
According to the Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) retail survey for last November, 90 percent of retailers were confident that they would still be in business after a year.
CCID researcher Andrew Fleming said yesterday that this positive trend was boosted in part by innovative approaches to retail. Initiatives such as the “First Thursdays” encouraged retailers to extend their opening hours and attract more customers.
The steady uptake in the use of the MyCiTi to move around the city has also meant that more people were walking instead of using private cars. This encouraged people to explore the city’s various retail offerings, he said.
Although the full results of the survey would be released at the end of next month when the CCID publishes its State of the Central City 2014 report, preliminary findings point to a confidence in the future growth and development of Cape Town’s city centre that is unmatched elsewhere in the country, said the CCID.
About 85 percent of retailers showed a level of satisfaction with having chosen the CBD for their business premises, and there was a 93 percent occupancy of street-facing retail space. The amount of available retail space has also increased with last year’s completion of the Portside development adding significantly to the inner city’s ground-floor retail offering.
“Adding up the estimated figures for both on-the-ground retail and shopping centres, it is believed that conservatively there are 10 867 employees working in the CBD’s retail sector,” said Fleming.
This does not take into account the jobs provided by the informal retail sector. The CCID’s residential survey, released last year, indicated that almost 75 percent of the people who live and work in the city also buy from informal traders.
Fleming said other research by the CCID indicated that consumers were generally satisfied with the retail mix in the city.
However, there’s support for extended retail hours, with more delicatessens and speciality food stores to cater for the growing number of people living and working in the inner city.