L2D adds up Black Friday shoppers


L2D adds up Black Friday shoppers


Published Date: 2018-11-29 | Source: Stephen Gunnion | Author: Stephen Gunnion

L2D adds up Black Friday shoppers

Black Friday specials attracted 15% more visitors to Liberty Two Degrees' shopping centres than last year.

Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) has been installing a new camera system at its shopping centres so it can count how many visitors they attract. The Syenap foot count system has already been installed at Sandton City and the results show that 8.2% more shoppers visited the centre in the year to end-September. It's also seen encouraging foot-count growth at its other centres. This Black Friday, 15% more shoppers visited centres in its portfolio than last year.

The shopping centre owner said by studying data analytics, it can better understand customers' needs and preferences, enabling its centres to set trends in the retail sector

In an investor update, it said it had seen a marked improvement in retail vacancies over the period. Trading density at its centres rose 3.4% excluding the Midlands Lifestyle Centre and Botshabelo Mall. Sandton City and Eastgate both grew trading densities by more than 5%, with densities slipping slightly at Nelson Mandela Square and declining by 5.6% at Melrose Arch. It said it was continuing its engagement with the management of Edcon and was taking proactive measures to reduce the exposure of its portfolio to the retail group.

In the office sector, the competitive environment, an oversupply of space in the Sandton CBD and the weak economy remained a challenge. It said it was making considerable efforts to attract the right tenants and retain existing tenants. Office fancies declined to 8.7% in September from 9.7% in June.

L2D said it remained on track to deliver its forecast 60c distribution share this year. It said its conversion from a collective investment scheme to a corporate real estate investment trust (REIT) earlier this month improved its structure to optimise shareholder value. The conversion resulted in the cancellation of a PUT option by Liberty Group and the internationalisation of the property management company. At the same time, it acquired R1.2 billion in property assets from the Liberty Property Portfolio, funding it with debt. It said the introduction of a conservative level of debt had enhanced its capital structure, with a current loan-to-value of 116%.

Its shares ended trade 4.3% higher at R7.50.


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