Retail International now a niche player in Gensec stable

Posted On Monday, 19 July 2004 02:00 Published by
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Former owner and CEO Vic Hiemstra at the helm

July 16, 2004

Johannesburg - Retail International, a prominent name in retail property development and management since the mid-1980s, has been re-launched as a niche company under the Gensec Property Services umbrella - with its former owner and CEO Vic Hiemstra at the helm.

Acquired by Gensec Property Services from Hiemstra a year ago, Retail International has now been restructured as a 50/50 joint venture between him and Gensec.

"For strategic reasons, and in order to maximise the value of its brand, we have positioned Retail International as a specialist 'boutique' company focused exclusively on the redevelopment, management and leasing of retail shopping centres," says Marna van der Walt, CEO of Gensec Property Services and chairman of Retail International.

She says Retail International will complement, rather than compete with, the basket of services provided by Gensec Property Services.

"In fact, there is great scope for the two organisations to jointly pursue certain market opportunities while, at the same time, continuing to service their own individual client portfolios.

"A major plus, of course, is that while offering the personal touch of a small, entrepreneurial, hands-on company, Retail International will continue to tap into the extensive pool of skills and services - such as risk management, legislation compliance and procurement - of the greater Gensec Property Services group," says van der Walt.

Now back as its CEO, Hiemstra says the new-look Retail International has kicked off with the management contracts for Key West shopping centre in Krugersdorp - which is undergoing a R20-million redevelopment and revamp - Village Square in Randfontein, Maroela Centre in Rustenburg, as well as a few other retail developments.

"Retail International is also involved with the letting of a new
R600-million two-tier shopping centre in Maputo in Mozambique," he adds.

An example of Retail International's abilities in redevelopment is the successful completion of a R50 million revamp at East Rand Mall in Boksburg, a centre which Retail International originally developed.

"A key element of the success of the revamp at this centre was the high degree of co-operation and mutual trust which existed between the tenants and the management.

"The tenants were kept fully informed of the construction programme and how it would impact on their businesses at all times.

"Almost all the tenants simultaneously with the centre's upgrading revamped their own stores and paid for their own new shopfronts," says Hiemstra.

The restructuring and repositioning of Retail International comes at a time when Gensec Property Services is repositioning - following a deal which will bring management, Pam Golding Commercial and a BEE consortium in as shareholders alongside Sanlam.

Press release courtesy of MagentaSoft

Publisher: Business Report
Source: Business Report

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