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South Africa’s top retail development goes to Checkers Foods Franschhoek

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Checkers Foods Franschhoek, in the Western Cape, has been named the winner of the sought-after Spectrum Award for the best retail development and design. Image credit: Checkers Food

Checkers Foods Franschhoek, in the Western Cape, has been named the winner of the sought-after Spectrum Award for the best retail development and design. Image credit: Checkers Food

Checkers Foods Franschhoek, in the Western Cape, has been named the winner of the sought-after Spectrum Award for the best retail development and design, at the South African Council of Shopping Centre’s (SACSC) Annual Retail Design and Development Awards (RDDA).

The awards celebrate exceptional designs of retail development projects within the South African property industry, together with their economic success. They include new shopping centres and the redevelopment and refurbishment of existing centres, as well as the design of retail stores and restaurants.

Amanda Stops, CEO of SACSC, says: “The development and design of shopping centres is a multidimensional and sophisticated discipline. It’s a creative, technical and commercial discipline that brings architecture, interior design, retail principles, consumer dynamics, environmental innovation and technology together in the conception and construction of retail space. Our industry is constantly innovating, creating and challenging itself, and raising the bar for development and design, and we are proud to acknowledge this excellence.”

The awards consider the entire development package, including excellent design, achieving a clear overall development goal, responding positively to the market and surroundings, adopting innovative design and construction solutions, in addition to embracing sustainable design and business techniques.

Checkers Foods Franschhoek delivered on all these points and was a joint winner in the category for national retailer store design, going on to qualify to take top honours overall.

The 1 088 square metre Checkers Foods store is owned by the Shoprite Group and was designed by the Group’s design team in collaboration with TDC&Co. The store embodies the renovation and reuse of a former small unit shopping arcade with the innovative creation of a larger footprint food store, while the existing frontage units were retained to create a ‘village market’ concept. The arcaded roof leads the customer into the warm and inviting store to view the produce displays, which combine both convenience and experience.

“Checkers Foods in the historic town of Franschhoek was the first of the smaller format concept stores to open in the Western Cape. We wanted its design to honour the style and charm of the town, as well as the architecture of the building in which it is located. We are extremely proud of this beautiful store,” says Willem Hunlun, chief operating officer of Checkers.

TDC&Co has worked with Checkers and their store design evolution since 2011. “Complacency and accepting good is a real risk. The ability to further develop the creative concept that is Checkers Foods is no small achievement as we continue to challenge and identify new opportunities to push this great iconic African business to what is truly great,” says Derek Patrick, CEO of TDC&Co.

He adds, “There is no doubt that great retail design solutions benefit tenants, shoppers and communities. Designing stores that are on brand and that promote product and services is the recipe for growth for our clients; provides landlords and other tenants with pull and feet to the mall and stores, and importantly gives customers reason to visit more often, stay longer, be surprised and entertained, and shop with ease and in comfort. Designing with community and sustainability in mind pushes our retailers to think and act outside their own box, and not just ‘green wash’ and talk of their initiatives as making a difference in people’s lives but see real connectivity and engagement and embrace what is local and real.”

Patrick believes being acknowledged by the industry for what they are designing makes a real difference to both teams and individuals, and the SACSC RDDA Awards allow SA talent to stand proud on a global stage. They highlight how design impacts business, people, customers and communities in general.

“This award recognises that our teams continue to strive and achieve creative excellence and that what we design is, first and foremost, a retail solution that works and can be implemented. They encourage our teams to push boundaries and exceed the best designs out there, which in turn both surprise and delight even ourselves,” says Patrick.

Category winners at the SACSC Development & Design Awards include:

Best new shopping centre development

Drakenstein Sentrum, 9 000sqm, owned and developed by the Shoprite Group, architect SVA International.

Best Renovation/Expansion

Chartwell Corner, 8 436sqm, owned and developed by Retail Africa, architect JLDesign.

Best Restaurant Design co-winners

  • McDonalds, Waterfall City, owned by McDonalds South Africa, designed by LYT Architecture.
  • The Blockman, Parkhurst, owned by Vassilios Holiasmenos, designed by Atmos Architecture & Design.

Best Retail Store Design co-winners

  • Checkers Foods Franschhoek, owned by the Shoprite Group, designed by the Group’s design team in collaboration with TDC&Co
  • Hydraulics, Gateway Theatre of Shopping, owned by Matthew and Dylan Bolus and designed by Next Generation Clothing and Accessories.

SACSC spearheads ground-breaking solutions that cement the retail landscape as a critical contributor to South African society. It was officially launched in 1991 to advance the country’s retail and retail property sectors. By contributing positively to issues within the industry and providing an effective platform to exchange ideas and share knowledge, SACSC promotes the interests and growth of the industry locally and internationally. In this way, it enhances the success of its members and highlights the role of shopping centres as significant contributors to all communities in South Africa.