June 29, 2020

Post Event Report: Douala Grand Mall Tenant Forum

Yemisi Okunowo

Broll Nigeria organized an informational webinar to take participants through the brand new Douala Grand Mall development. The Douala Grand Mall, developed by Actis and a local partner; Craft Development, is located close to Bonapriso, the wealthiest region in Cameroon’s largest city. According to Broll, the mall has a catchment area of 4 million inhabitants and 300,000 expected monthly visitors. Anchor Tenants currently include Carrefour and Genesis Cinemas.

When completed, the mall will be the largest in Central Africa with 18,000 sqm. of lettable retail and leisure space on two levels with 640 ground and basement parking bays. Construction of Douala Grand Mall commenced in Q1:2018 and the mall is set to be launched in Q3:2020. Currently, 70% of its lettable space has already been leased.

The session was quite interactive and the following questions and answers were made:

1 What are the ranges of space available?

a.  White box:
• Less than 100 sqm.
• Fully fitted (The tenant simply needs to come with furniture and commence business).
• Opened majorly for local businesses.

b. Grey box:
• Size is between 100 – 300 sqm.
• Facilities such as a Shopfront, AC units are made available.
• Tenants are allowed to introduce their personal branding with wall paints, type of lighting etc.

c. Blackbox:
• Stores bigger than 300 sqm.
• Utilities are to the interest of the tenant’s space.
• The tenant can install its shopfront and carry out its fit-out.

2. When is Broll Nigeria expected to take over the Facility Management functions?

Broll Nigeria has already commenced handling facility management for Douala Grand Mall. The management is currently at the end of selecting all the services Broll Nigeria will handle. All services should come on-site by late July or August so they can run one month before the mall starts trading.

3. What advice would you give to prospective tenants regarding the language barrier?

Cameroon is a bi-lingual country. You can find people who speak English or French language.

4. Will tenants have some customizations to reflect main brand image for Whitebox?

There are some restrictions, However, the landlord is open to tenants customizing their white box stores as long as the structure is not affected. Tenants will be required to submit their designs and receive approval from the mall’s architect before fit-out can be carried out.

5. Regarding tenant mix, which category of stores are still available?

Aside from a Cinema and a supermarket like Carrefour, all categories ranging from fashion, health, restaurant, electronics, home goods are still open.

6. Are there local Investors looking for international franchises to open?

Yes, Actis already has such local partners and will be happy to match local and international brands.

7. How do prospective Nigerian businesses go about registering their business in Cameroon?

Actis has some local partners that can assist businesses with that.

8. Do tenants have to register their business in Cameroon to operate?

Yes, they do.

9. Will the landlord share profit-risk with the tenant? This is where there can be an agreement for base rent and the landlord shares in the profit.

No, but as pioneers in Cameroon, landlords will try in assisting everyone to come in.

10. What is the opening and closing time for the mall?

This will be decided with the tenants. The standard hours for opening is 9:30 – 21:30 during the week and 9:30 to 22:30 during the weekend. However, the cinema will have exceptions. The 9 shops facing the mall will also be allowed to stay overnight.

11. Is the rent indicated inclusive of all taxes?

No, there are other taxes available such as Value Added Tax, Contract registration fee etc. The rents being marketed are net rents exclusive of taxes.

12. How much does a Whitebox cost for a restaurant?

The rent ranges from $50-$150/sqm. It depends on the location, size and the moment the tenant signs its lease.

13. Will the COVID pandemic affect the opening of the mall?

International guidelines are currently being followed during construction. After the launch, these guidelines will continue to be applied. Actis, the developer of the mall also abides by the ESG standards for investment.

14. List of tenants who have signed up already:

The partners are currently shared on social media platforms. Simply follow the mall on social media and its website. international tenants currently occupy 40-45% while Local tenants occupy 50-55% of lettable spaces in the mall.

15. What is security like in Douala?

Douala is quite safe. The site is fully covered by security and security is assured by an international company.

Email LToye@broll.com.ng or Retail@broll.com.ng if you are interested in leasing space in Douala Grand Mall.

Merci Beaucoup!

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