Right at the heart of one of Africa’s richest square miles lies Sandton City, a glittering beacon of commerce that has been attracting shoppers and retailers from all over the country and around the world – for more than 40 years.
This is the shopping mall that changed the face of retail in South Africa for ever when it was launched in 1973, and steadily became a must-see destination in its own right for everyone who came to Johannesburg to visit, live or work. And now it is even more alluring than ever, following a six-year, multimillion-rand revamp that has transformed it into a thoroughly modern, architecturally striking retail centrepiece for the high-energy Sandton CBD.
This project saw more than 30 000sqm of new retail space being added to the centre, which now encompasses almost 146 800sqm, and enabled it to further expand its exceptionally diverse offering of fashion, food, décor and leisure outlets while also increasing its appeal for consumers of all ages and income groups.
On the fashion front, Sandton City has entrenched its position as the capital of Afro-cosmopolitan glamour and style by being the first to accommodate global brands such as Zara, H&M and River Island that were previously unrepresented in SA alongside the very best local offerings. This makes it the first choice for Johannesburg fashionistas who #cometothecity to have direct access to the hottest trends in the fashion capitals of the world, as well as the flair and talent of this country’s best designers.
And then there’s Diamond Walk, a spectacular new section of the mall that houses a collection of international super-luxury brands including Prada, Dolce &Gabbana, Giorgio Armani, Burberry, Ermenegildo Zegna, Billionaire Italian Couture, Jimmy Choo, Versace, Louis Vuitton and Gucci.
Created last year at a cost of R185m, this stunning showcase adds yet another dimension to Sandton City’s reputation as SA’s premier retail destination – enabling local consumers to find the same coveted brands right on their doorstep that any global high-flyer would expect to find in London, Paris, New York or Dubai.
However, the centre is not only about high-fashion for the fortunate few. The thinking behind the recently launched #cometothecity campaign is to reinforce the fact it is also a great place to do your regular weekly shopping, take the kids to a movie, take your overseas visitors to look for the best souvenirs, spend a day out with friends and find the perfect accessory or décor item for your home, no matter what your budget.
What is more, Sandton City’s food and beverage offerings are just as varied and exciting as its other stores. Including the fresh new restaurants on the redeveloped Nelson Mandela Square, there are literally dozens of options here for a quick lunch bite, a quiet coffee while you put the finishing touches to that all-important business proposal, a mouth-watering pastry while you stop a while to people-watch, a tall cocktail to sip on after work, a romantic pasta dinner or a lazy Sunday lunch.
All of which helps to explain why Sandton City continues to attract millions of visitors a year, – although a big part of its popularity is also the fact that it is increasingly easy to access from the surrounding office precinct, other parts of the city and the OR Tambo International Airport.
For those who choose to drive, some 2500 new parking bays were added in the recent revamp. But for those who prefer public transport, the centre is just a short and easy walk from Gautrain’s Sandton Station – and also readily accessible by bus, taxi, tuk-tuk or cycles.