SA’s largest property company, Growthpoint, says footfall in malls has improved in June to about 80% of the same month in 2019, adding that there were signs that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic had passed.

Western Cape shopping centres, which are in established urban areas where people are acutely aware of the spread of the virus, are hardest hit with the number of shoppers having decreased 50%-60% when compared to the same time in 2019, the group said in a trading update.

On the fashion side in May, as lockdowns eased, larger national retailers, particularly value fashion, were faring better because they traded in more basics and essentials, the group said.

Athletic and leisurewear were performing well, as were electronic retailers.

Smaller fashion traders and boutiques are doing 20%-40% of the previous year’s turnover, with fast-food at 25%-40% of 2019. Optometrists are trading at 30% of last year and sports categories at 50% of prior year, the group said.

Growthpoint, which has a year to end-June, said that although it did not expect its 2019 levels, “early indications reveal that the worst is behind us”.

“However, the situation is still very fluid, and it is difficult to quantify or assess the full impact of the economic conditions on our customer base at this stage,” the group said.

In morning trade on Monday, Growthpoint’s share was down 0.41% to R14.65, having fallen 33.74% so far in 2020.