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Woolworths treading lightly on the Earth at the Mall of Africa

It's being hailed as the largest shopping mall in the country, but anchor tenant Woolworths aims to do its part to ensure that the new R5bn Mall of Africa in Midrand, Gauteng, treads lightly on the Earth.
Maps Maponyane and Dion Chang.
Maps Maponyane and Dion Chang.

Woolworths' newest eco-chic outlet opened on Thursday, 28 April amongst excitement from WRewards cardholders who each received a R1,000 shopping spree for being among the first 100 customers in line. Attended by an exclusive mix of celebrities and media, the launch offered a glimpse into Woolies’ stylish approach to sustainability and innovative redefinition of the store experience.

In addition to a new-look Foods store complete with a chocolate hub, fish market and butchery, coffee connoisseurs can now indulge their senses at the in-house roastery within WCafe – the retailer’s deliberate move towards creating more 'deli-type shopping environments'.

In keeping with the pillars of Woolworths’ Good Business Journey, the 130,000m² store has been designed to mitigate the environmental impact of the 'super-regional mall' through sustainability measures that include using waste heat from the refrigeration units to heat the store, to an array of energy-efficient lighting equipment and water-saving measures.

“Our Good Business Journey is at the heart of everything we do and it’s great to see our sustainability philosophy brought to life in our beautiful new store,” said Charmaine Huet, group director of marketing at Woolworths.

Over 6,000m² of fashion

Customers can now shop in a dedicated footwear department and over 6,000m² of fashion from Studio.W, RE:, David Jones Collection and JT One, as well as Australian premium brands Country Road, Trenery, MIMCO and Witchery – all of which have standalone stores in-house. FoxBox express manicures and EyeCandy eyebrow threading offer a convenient stop within the glittering new beauty department, which overlooks a large, dramatic atrium.

Collaborating exclusively on a one-off initiative called ‘Totes For Good’, Woolies commissioned three young designers – Pichulik, AKJP and Rich Mnisi – to customise a plain tote in a style or design of their choice. Each bag was sold via a first-of-its-kind Twitter auction on opening night, of which 100% of the proceeds benefitted The Clothing Bank, a non-profit organisation that empowers unemployed mothers through enterprise development.

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