The renovated Alfred Mall, which is next to the Victoria & Alfred Hotel in the Quays District of the V&A Waterfront, has reopened its doors in time for the festive season.
Also read: Enjoy a vegan Christmas lunch at the Radisson RED V&A Waterfront
The revamped Alfred Mall, anchored by the Aafricaa Store along with five other tenants, fills the transition between offerings at the Watershed and the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre, presenting an exciting boutique offering of design, art and craft.
Aafricaa’s flagship design emporium is a 450 square metre lifestyle mecca and a must-visit destination for locals and travellers alike. It is a unique new concept store for curated contemporary African design, offering a dynamic retail platform for the continent’s leading contemporary brands and designers. With an emphasis on crafted and artisanal luxury, Aafricaa is a place where great in-house collections, ever-evolving exhibitions, and new collaborations will continually be explored in celebration of the creative energy of the continent.
Complementing the boutique mall is a food and beverage offering on the quayside, with a new external concession area looking out over the water to the city and Table Mountain. With the building’s arches opening up and raising the pedestrian canopies, visitors are presented with glimpses from pedestrian level through the building to the water’s edge on the quayside.
Also read: Silo Concerts return to the V&A Waterfront, starting this Friday
The external area, which was previously a carpark, has been transformed into a new public square with greenery and a water feature on the Alfred Square side of the mall, and the Victoria Alfred Hotel now has a new and independent entrance off the upgraded arrivals plaza.
Built in 1904 as the North Quay Warehouse, the Alfred Mall building is nearly 120 years old. Throughout its lifespan, the building has functioned as a coal shed, the old port rope store, an overflow warehouse for the Union Castle Shipping Company Building (UCB), a customs baggage store, and the original mall in our neighbourhood, before the Victoria Wharf Shopping Centre was built.
In 1990, the building’s storied past gave birth to a new, exclusive speciality mall as well as the precinct’s first hotel, the Victoria and Alfred Hotel, a development that solidified the neighbourhood as the city’s top tourist attraction. Now, the space is ready and waiting to live out its new life as the unmissable destination of the contemporary African aesthetic, one that marries heritage with imagination to inspire a new generation of visitors with the stories of a modern and vibrant continent.
V&A Waterfront Chief Executive Officer, David Green, said the time is now to unveil the renovated Alfred Mall following the influx of tourists choosing to holiday in Cape Town over the national holidays.
“The V&A welcomed just over 20 million visitors in the last 12 months which highlights the steady recovery that is being experienced across the country. This is up 36.1% on 2021, but down 23.8% pre-COVID-19 in 2019 over the same period,” said Green.
Also read: Mmabatho Molefe’s Emazulwini flares up Makers Landing
Instead of traditional brick-and-mortar retail design, the V&A is reimagining retail as a space that invites shoppers on a journey of delight and discovery. Here, the V&A aims to defy expectations by creating immersive, shareable experiences that visitors can show their friends and families to showcase the best that Africa has to offer.
“Aafricaa is a development from our ongoing partnership with the V&A Waterfront and our work on projects such as the award-winning Joy From Africa to the World and the Zeitz MOCAA shop. In our collaborations together we have discovered we have a shared passion for the creative community of this continent and a commitment to projecting the work of artisans and designers to the world. Aafricaa allows us to let this work shine in a beautiful environment where visitors can meander at their leisure and be inspired by the designs firsthand.” Laurence Brick, co-founder of Aafricaa Store
According to Green, the concept behind the renovation was to redefine the future of retail and the customer experience; to explore how other countries are innovating retail spaces and to add an African flair that captivates a new generation. “Our neighbourhood is vibrant with an undeniable electrifying spirit. It’s a source of endless potential alongside our retailers and community.”
A list of new stores at the Alfred Mall:
- Coco Safar
- Mungo and Jemima
- Hannah Lavery
- Jane Valken
- Treasures of Africa