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South African property funds are considering converting offices beset with vacancies into specialised warehousing and distribution centres, which can support online shopping. While online retail penetration is fairly low in SA compared with the likes of the UK and US, landlords have recognised that traditional shopping centres will not serve as large a role in retail sales a few years from now. This has prompted numerous listed property funds to search for appropriate industrial assets that can be used to house goods and move them quickly. Redefine Properties executive chairman Marc Wainer said he was more confident about making new investments in retail and properties as opposed to building new offices. Growthpoint Properties chief operating officer Engelbert Binedell said the firm’s investment strategy had shifted recently to having one part that would involve buying offshore properties and another focused on investing in specialised property types of real estate such as logistics...

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