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Topshop opens in South Africa

11-27-2012 17:32 BJT

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By CCTV correspondent Sumitra Nydoo

British fashion retailer Topshop has opened its very first store in South Africa this week. It follows similar moves by several top international brands in recent years, making the country a popular shopping destination.

Hundreds of fashion loving youngsters waited at the new Topshop in Sandton, some from midnight wanting to get in first.

"I’m so excited. I can’t believe it took them this long so I can’t wait to go in and see what they have in store for us. I’ll be a regular here that’s for sure,” said a shopper.

The popular UK brand says it's amazed at the excitement around the new store.

Gordon Richardson, Creative Director of Topman, said, "It’s been quite a long process to get here. And you're talking to the creative director so I’m going to talk all about creativity particularly but I think it was finding the right partners, setting up the business structure and then opening the store. So we’re very excited to be here. It’s a very exciting store. It’s lively and dynamic. We had guys queuing since midnight and that’s unheard of - you don’t really always get guys in the queue. So that’s very good from a Topman perspective that people here really want men’s fashion."

More stores are set to open In South Africa’s coastal cities. Just a few months ago, Spanish designer retailer Zara also made its entry into the local retail market.

Lauren Avgitidis, Topshop Brand Manager, said, " I think a lot of South Africans have been waiting for its arrival as everyone knows it’s from the UK. I’ve said in countless interviews I think South Africa has been exposed to so much through so much through digital media. They’re so aware of so much of the international brands. So many more international brands have arrived in South Africa which we’re so excited about and ja, Topshop is just gonna rock."

South Africa is slowly turning into a shopping mecca. With shopping malls at every turn with almost anything and everything on offer. In recent years there’s been a steady rise of people from other African countries arriving in Johannesburg to shop. Last week one of the Swazi queens was spotted shopping up a storm at a local fashion retailer in in Sandton.

Chris Gilmour, Analyst at Absa Investments, said, "People coming across our borders, staying for more than 24 hours, not coming here to work, coming here to shop and that is big business, very very big business indeed. In their own right or as traders. So, yes that is, it’s a big part of South African tourism generally and it’s growing. So while it might not be regarded as kind of leisure activity, people are actually coming here to shop. It’s big, it’s growing and it is important."

While the International labels are attracting African consumers, there’s still some way to go before international visitors leave home to shop down South.

This is the second big international brand to launch in South Africa in recent months which means more choice for local shoppers. But for shoppers coming from across Africa too, South Africa is fast becoming the preferred shopping destination on the continent.

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Editor:Zhou Minxi |Source: CCTV.com

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