L2D reports sustainable operational performance on retail assets

11th June 2024 By: Sabrina Jardim - Creamer Media Online Writer

L2D reports sustainable operational performance on retail assets

Liberty Two Degrees COO Jonathan Sinden

Despite the current economic climate presenting slowing growth, characterised by high inflationary pressure, increasing costs of property rates, the lack of delivery of basic utilities such as electricity and water, as well as consumer pressure, real estate investment trust Liberty Two Degrees (L2D) says its assets continue to “stand out”.

L2D reports that its retail assets delivered “market leading” trading performance.

The company says this demonstrates innovation and the ability to create experiential retail, as well as the partnerships that L2D maintains.

“The tenant mix within the malls enabled the creation of a synergy of different but complementary services to create an experiential shopping experience for customers, ultimately benefiting tenant sales,” the company says.

Moreover, demand for space in the portfolio remains strong, L2D reports.

The company notes that the portfolio saw newly renovated store openings of Under Armour and Sketchers at Sandton City.

Sandton City also saw the revamp of IWC, Elegance Jewellers and Panerai, with Maxhosa and Bally opening in the first week of August.

The company says occupancies within the L2D office sector are also tracking well as management continues to execute on the focussed leasing strategy.

“This result is strengthened by quality tenancies and the positive effects of our experiential offerings, which have provided the positive momentum,” says L2D COO Jonathan Sinden.

He says the apparel category performed well, contributing 27.3% of the overall turnover and occupying 26% of the lettable area.

“Department stores contributed 16.8% to turnover, while occupying 24.4% of the lettable area, however, management continues to execute on the tenant rightsizing initiatives to ensure we continue to be proactive on derisking our environments,” says Sinden.

The company notes that the athleisure tenant mix was revamped, which further enhances its experiential mall offering.

“Luxury continues to play an important role in the performance of our portfolio. Our strategy for this category is to continue to bring luxury to the sub-Saharan Africa region and create unique and immersive shopping experiences to serve as a drawcard and a differentiator for customers,” adds Sinden.

The company says Sandton City proved to be of global standard, showcased by the recent international accolade where the mall won Gold in the Global Visual Victories Awards for the LEGO ‘Your Dream Car Generated’ campaign, and a silver award for Momo’s Magical Adventure activation, both at the ICSC Global Awards in Las Vegas.

Momo’s Magical Adventure activation also won ‘Best Performance in a Production for Young Audiences’ in the Naledi Theatre Awards. Eastgate Shopping Centre was awarded the Best of Ekurhuleni Readers' Choice Awards 2023. 

Meanwhile, in line with good spaces, L2D says it remains bold in driving its net-zero commitments, which it says is evident in its business operations. L2D previously announced its achievement of Level 2 net-zero waste for all super-regional and regional malls in its portfolio, a first in South African retail. 

L2D says it continues to embark on reducing carbon emissions through renewable-energy initiatives. The reduction of L2D’s reliance on the grid forms a core part of its net-zero strategy and aims to reduce operating costs.

The company has, therefore, made significant investments in renewable energy as part of its net-zero energy strategy. In total to date, the portfolio has installed solar capacity generating 4.3% of energy. 

Eastgate Shopping Centre has debuted the largest registered rooftop installation in South Africa. The 6 MW installation covers most of the available mall roof space, an area of about 28 100 m².

The energy generated will be used to power the mall’s daily operations. In its investment into solar energy, L2D will look to further expand its solar coverage to a total of 16.1 MW across the portfolio by the end of 2025, of which 18% of the total mall consumption will come from the rooftop solar energy that has been installed.

This will see L2D closer to attaining its target of net-zero carbon by 2030. L2D is also actively exploring opportunities in energy wheeling for Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square.