The extension and revamp of the Lifestyle TOPS has been underway behind the scenes during lockdown. When liquor stores were closed by the government for the second time this year, the TOPS team took the decision to make good use of the lockdown period, bringing the project start date forward and accelerating the construction program, clearing out the store and powering ahead with some of the more disruptive work while the store was closed to customers.
The President’s announcement, on 15 August 2020, of the lifting of the liquor ban came slightly earlier than expected, however, and Lifestyle TOPS will unfortunately not be in a position to open its doors on Tuesday, 18 August, with the move to Level 2. The construction schedule will be reworked again to allow the store to open on Monday, 31 August, with minimum disruption for customers.
Work will still continue on this very exciting project to create a unique, spacious and beautifully designed liquor store that will be over two and a half times the size of the existing TOPS store at Lifestyle Centre.
According to Lifestyle Centre and Lifestyle TOPS Co-owner, Bruce Rencken, “One of the many things that lockdown has highlighted is just how big a part of our life liquor is. South Africans are social and gregarious by nature and enjoying a drink together often forms the basis of gathering with family or friends, usually accompanied by an excellent meal. But the new LIFESTYLE TOPS is about more than just the liquor. Not only will we extensively expand our range and offering in wine and other growing liquor categories, but we will be introducing new categories such as biltong, cigars, gifting, snacks and chocolates.”
Artist’s impression of the spacious wine department
The existing 336m2 trading area will grow to 884m2, incorporating an expansive wine department, walk-in beer fridge and intimate, interesting spaces for gin, whiskey, rum and tequila, and international speciality beer brands and craft beers.
Artist’s impression of the gin experience at the new Lifestyle TOPS
“Our vision is to be an ‘experiential’ liquor store, rather than a ‘traditional’ or ‘conventional’ liquor store,” said Rencken. “Key factors in the floor layout and design of the store are convenience, flow, simplicity of shopping experience, extensive range and visual merchandising. The store will be on trend, with beautiful design and aesthetics, and will offer a number of different concepts. Our aim is to transform Ballito’s liquor shopping into a world class, fun, exciting, educational and experiential occasion”.
The new store, which looks set to be an industry disruptor and leader, is due to launch at the end of October 2020.
A video which showcases a realistic flythrough of what to expect at the new Lifestyle TOPS can be viewed here: