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East London’s Vincent Park shopping centre celebrates 50 years of local loyalty

Home Business Management Facilities Management East London’s Vincent Park shopping centre celebrates 50 years of local loyalty

ONE of the country’s oldest malls and one of the first in the Eastern Cape, East London’s Vincent Park is celebrating its 50th birthday – an impressive milestone that the centre and portfolio manager, Joseph Parsley, says reflects the passion, people and progress that have been at its core.

In 1971 Old Mutual bought the land on which the Vincent Hotel stood and earmarked it for redevelopment into a shopping centre with Pick ‘n Pay as the anchor tenant.

Officially opened in October 1972

“From the beginning, the East London community has been integral to our success. By offering a relevant and fresh tenant mix, we continue to appeal to a wide range of shoppers. Through our marketing and community events, we aim to bring fun and novel experiences to the mall, and support community causes where we can.

“Vincent Park also supports the local economy through commerce platforms for local business owners, as well as fostering employment opportunities for hundreds of East Londoners. A number of our tenants have been with us since day one, namely Chez Francois, Pick n Pay and Wimpy,” continued Parsley.

Since the 1970’s the centre has been developed refurbished and modernised. Today, Vincent Park boasts 37 000 sqm of trading space and over 80 tenants, including all of the major banks, South African retail brands and international fashion retailer, H&M.

Five decades of moving with the retail times

Vincent Park is surrounded by affluent residential neighbourhoods and is within 10-minutes of the city’s top schools, medical facilities and commercial developments

Parsley says while fashion and music changes were inevitable, the impact of social media and technology has been significant, completely changing shopper engagement. Now, the focus is on building brand awareness and affinity through results driven social media campaigns and activations.

“Vincent Park has embarked on substantial infrastructure investment over the past couple of years to bring about cost savings, energy efficiencies and the implementation of 21st century technology,” he adds.

Green initiatives include the installation of a solar plant, the addition of energy-efficient LED lighting, the installation of a chilled water plant to improve air cooling, the introduction of a grey water / non-potable water supply project to toilets, rainwater harvesting and landscaping using waterwise and indigenous plants.

From a brand perspective, we aim to stay true to this legacy and at the same time ensure that we remain current and relevant. In this sphere, Vincent Park is an industry leader, being recognised nationally through the South African Council of Shopping Centres’ annual Footprint Marketing Awards.

“Overall, Vincent Park’s legacy and brand affinity definitely stands in its favour. East London is very community driven. Everyone knows everyone, and everyone has a memory of Vincent Park,” Parsley concludes.

In celebration of its 50th Birthday, Vincent Park invites East London to visit the mall and participate in the various planned celebrations.

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