Shopping centres : investigating the need for a regional shopping centre in Klerksdorp, City of Matlosana
The shopping centre was born in Europe and matured in North America, and it now exists in cities with a wide variety of cultures and politics (Dawson, 1983: 1). According to Casazza et al. (1985:1), the shopping centre is probably the most successful land use, development, real estate, and retail business concept of the 20th century. According to Casazza et al. (1985: 2), the shopping centre is a specialised, commercial land use and building type that previously thrived primarily in suburbia, but today is found throughout the country. When using the term ?shopping centre? accurately, a shopping centre refers to: ?A group of architecturally unified commercial establishments built on a site that is planned, developed, owned and managed as an operating unit related in its location, size, and type of shops to the trade area that it serves. The unit provides on-site parking in definite relationship to the types and total size of the stores? (Casazza et al., 1985: 2). This study investigated the need for a new shopping centre in Klerksdorp. Therefore, this study determined whether a new shopping centre in Klerksdorp would be viable. Klerksdorp and its district are quite unique in certain ways, especially due to the farming and mining activities that are found there. Klerksdorp provides goods and services especially for the people residing in Klerksdorp itself, Kanana, Alabama, Jouberton, Hartbeesfontein, Orkney, Vaal Reefs and Stilfontein. The main shopping activity is generally found in the Central Business District (CBD) of Klerksdorp and its surrounding areas. Klerksdorp has only one major shopping centre (the City Mall) that provides goods and services for the people in an enclosed surrounding area. This causes an over concentration in the CBD and too much traffic in an already limited space. The need for Klerksdorp to provide a bigger centre for the citizens of the town, as well as the surrounding areas, is high. Another regional shopping centre close to Klerksdorp is found in Potchefstroom, namely the Mooirivier Mall, and mainly provides in the extra shopping needs of the people living in Klerksdorp and its surrounding areas. This study therefore determined whether there is a need for a shopping centre from a retail and consumer point of view, and also whether it will be viable. The empirical study revealed that approximately half of the respondents are not satisfied with the current shopping centres in Klerksdorp and that more than half of the respondents feel that the shopping centres do not cater for enough parking. The study revealed that, from a consumer point of view, there is definitely a need for a new shopping centre in Klerksdorp. Urban-Econ Development Economists (2009: 56) concluded that the retail market has been fairly buoyant, and although the effects of interest rate hikes and increased inflation and global recession have become visible, fair growth is still expected in the following years, once the economy starts to recover. This indicates that Klerksdorp has a need for a new shopping centre, as 89,705 m2 GLA is available. This shows that if a new shopping centre is built, the other shopping centres in Klerksdorp will still be sustainable, and a new shopping centre will be sustainable and viable.