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Edgars store closed at V&A Waterfront

Centre takes back space, declining Edcon business rescue offer to stay.
Edgars' old store at Cape Town's V&A Waterfront. Image: Google Maps

The 4500m² V&A Waterfront Edgars store, which has been at the landmark Cape Town shopping and tourist destination for years, has closed its doors.

This was confirmed by JSE-listed property giant Growthpoint during a webcast media briefing on the group’s full-year results to the end of June 2020 on Wednesday. The group, which owns half of the trophy property precinct, has however said that about half of the double-floor space already has a new ‘pre-committed’ tenant.

Read:

Liberty Two Degrees to write off remaining R17.5m Edcon stake

Major malls will still be hit hard if Edcon business rescue fails

“V&A Waterfront management have taken back the space occupied by Edgars… Edcon’s business rescue practitioners tried to do a deal to keep the store as part of the business rescue process, but centre management decided not to accept the offer,” said Estienne de Klerk, CEO of Growthpoint’s South African operations.

“The store is around 4500m² and they (Edgars) are in the process of clearing out of the space,” he told Moneyweb.

A guest relations officer at the V&A Waterfront confirmed that the Edgars store had closed at the centre on since August 1.

Growthpoint Group CEO Norbert Sasse pointed out during the results briefing that the store had occupied two floors, however, he had no doubt that the space would be filled despite the impact of Covid-19 on trade at the centre.

“The store has two levels to it… One level links in quite nicely with the high-end retail section of the mall. Half of the space is already sort of pre-committed to tenants. It’s the mezzanine space that we haven’t quite dealt with yet… This space might take a little longer [to let],” he said.

Read: Edcon secures Edgars sale to Durban-based Retailability

Meanwhile, De Klerk said that the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown has had a “very big impact” on trade at the V&A Waterfront, which is strongly influenced by international and domestic tourists.

“Rent arrears at the V&A Waterfront is around R120 million… However, things are improving as we go through the lower lockdown levels and open up the economy. A key factor is the opening up of international travel to South Africa,” he said.

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“…Edcon’s business rescue practitioners tried to do a deal to keep the store as part of the business rescue process, but centre management decided not to accept the offer…”

What a disgustingly vicious landlord Growthpoint has proven to be to Edgars. The BR practitioners are trying to save the Edgars ship (as well as people’s jobs) ….but Growthpoint would rather have a half-empty space and a “pre-committed tenants” space that won’t even generate income for a long time (having regard to the lengthy process of on-boarding a new tenant at a mall).

You say that, but I’m just wondering how the conversation went…. Edcon: We would like to extend the lease, pay less than half of what we pay now, enjoy a further 6 month payment holiday and be able to cancel without penalties whenever we can. Growthpoint: But this is prime retail space…

The reality is Edgars is no longer a viable business model, landlords have had to accept this ‘can kicking’ for far too long, a few years back were told sorry, Edgars cant pay the rent, so you have to accept shares in Edcon on lieu of rent- which by the way are worthess now. It is sad and job losses arent nice to face but this nonsense should sit with Edcon and the manner in which they have run this enterprise, starting with that massive loan taken out to run a poorly planned store expansion plan.

Edgars for years simply applied a “accept it or leave it” mentality. Their service has been pathetic for years and now they have become a failed enterprise, im not surprised. They knew it and did nothing to improve the customer experience. May they long be gone.

A shop visitor impression of many, and looking around. Waiting inline and counting staff and fellows in line. Staff always, sometimes double in numbers, win the game. How they manage doing that always amaze me. The local cafe, very successful, never aloud this to happen.

Surprised no one mentions AA ?
That’s why we stopped shopping there 15 years ago…
Too noisy.

End of comments.

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