PALAPYE: The sprouting new malls are not effectively operational, but the locals have gotten a taste of a new shopping experience with variable options for the evolving village.
Three malls have opened for business in the past six months. The Lotsane Junction Mall was the first to open last November, Palapye Junction Mall followed in December and recently Diphalane Mall resumed business mid-last month.
A construction of yet another P78 million Platinum Icon Mall is underway. Tired spaces are also getting an upliftment. New shops have descended upon the village and yet more are emergent.
Empty spaces in the recently opened malls are busy altering to suit tenants, while others are shelving stock.
Big grocery stores that are new in the area anchor in the already opened malls and they are attracting hordes of consumers that frequent the stores for daily needs.
The Palapye Junction Mall is the home to Food Lover’s Mart, Palapye Junction houses Super-Spar and Diphalane is home to one of the biggest Shoprite Supermarkets in the country.
A variety of eateries are already operational in the new malls and so are clothing retailers.
The village habours a potential of becoming a shopping paradise in the future and the locals are already excited at the prospect.
Thatayaone Sesa of Serorome ward said her days of travelling far and across borders for shopping are over.
“I did my shopping in Lephalale and the way I see it that is coming to an end. With these malls I believe something big is coming here, shopping will never be the same,” she said.
“There are a lot of shops that are new here that we used to access as far as Gaborone, Francistown and of course across the border.
We have fresh food from the Supermarkets, they have upped the game and an improvement is even seen in others that have been around. Thinking of
Ruth Taukobong who travelled from Pilikwe for her shopping was equally excited at the new changes.
She said her family makes regular shopping in Palapye.
She said for an outsider who relied mostly on wholesalers located in the village, shopping used to be dull and a little strenuous.
“Often times we used to buy from wholesalers that are located in the village. Accessing them was costly and tiring. Now we have got grocery stores within touching distance of the bus rank and shopping has become easier. It is also interesting and refreshing, the shops are bright and they are nicely decorated.”
Chadley Rakgole of Khurumela ward envisioned once business is fully operational at the malls then the village will begin to enjoy the new developments. He was worried at the slow pace of the tenancy occupation.
“These malls should have gotten all their tenants ready before they decided to open. They are coming in a bit slowly. Well, the future looks bright. We are set to enjoy fully-fledged services and move away from small branches, and we are looking forward to those days,” he said.
The taxi business is already reaping from the new malls. Joromiah Moyo, a taxi operator who plies all the malls said business has improved. He said his customer contact has grown.
“There is a lot of activity around the new malls. Business is promising and I hope it keeps the same. I have met new clients through these malls and my contact list has grown.
There has been tough competition in this industry, but things are softening up. People are coming out and they buy everyday,” he said.