Thursday, 29 July 2021. Hyprop announced that SOKO District will open its doors at Rosebank Mall on Friday 30 July 2021. The word ‘soko’ is Swahili for ‘market’, and a market is traditionally driven by the collective art of buying and selling goods in an open space. SOKO District has created a platform that enables purpose-driven brands to create meaningful connections with their customers through a flexible digital leasing platform, without the significant financial commitments in the traditional retail environment.
“At a time when the world is re-setting and actively searching for brands that resonate with the core values of getting back to basics, we welcome SOKO to our portfolio as part of our non-tangible strategy. It is encouraging to see the collaboration between brands, embracing a new concept in a time of everchanging retail,” says CEO Morné Wilken.
Hyprop creates safe environments and opportunities for people to connect and have authentic and meaningful experiences. The company has been exploring how its centres will be increasingly relevant in the 21st century to customers who want public places that bring communities together in a way that is relevant to their changing lives. Customers want a place where they can connect, engage and explore, a place that positively impacts the world around them, and offers exceptional and authentic experiences inspired by the communities they serve.
These principles are guiding the evolvement of Hyprop’s centres in a new world where physical and digital shopping will seamlessly interact, and where our customers will trade transactional time for experiences that add value to their shopping, their interest and their friendships. This is beautifully showcased through the SOKO concept.
Some of the brands which will come to life at the very first SOKO District in Rosebank Mall include environmentally friendly Nu Nues, Annapatat Kids, the Oliver Vagary collection and ceramic studio, Rialheim. Flight, Just Rrrraw Chocolate, Darling Sweet and The Lollipop League will tantalise your tastebuds while luxury fashion brand Mahone The Quiet Junkie will showcase their locally manufactured clothing. Further fashion and apparel brands include, Bummel Shoes, Mós Clothing, Kayla Stam, KoiKoi Clothing, Danielle Frylinck, Era by DJ Zinhle and Ledikana.
There is an alchemy to this new approach to retail which comes from partnering with like-minded entrepreneurs. This new approach is what lies at the heart of the brand storytelling SOKO District has at its core. It’s a deep-rooted desire to encourage customers to experience products first-hand rather than online in a relatable space fostering a sense of community and support for brands. But it is also about offering new brands which have a lot of potential a space to grow and breathe which they would not be able to do in a traditional retail set up. SOKO provides the blank canvas blank canvas for other brands to shine on!
Sustainability is top of mind. Each brand within the District has a completely customisable space which means customers can easily find and recognise their favourite store. From a shop-fitting perspective, nothing goes to waste even retailers would like to update their design, as the old signage is carefully recycled into stylish shopping bags.