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Catalyst adds an eclectic avenue to South African design scene, offering space to designers and creators from across South Africa. Focused on showcasing product lines from entirely South African designers and creators, Catalyst is a convenient stop for eager shoppers that stocks a wide range of South African designers and artists.

How did your business start?Catalyst 3

My designer, Gareth Henderson, and I were chatting about creating retail opportunities to counteract the effects of single exit price schedules on our retail pharmacy. Our location attracts a high level of tourists and visitors to Durban and this was one way we could encourage both interest in our store and showcase South African talent.

Why did you choose this area to set up shop?

Our existing premises were perfectly suited to our needs.

How did you find your premises?

We expanded our store space to create Catalyst.

Why is it ideally suited to your business?

There is a distinctive synergy between the pharmacy and the gift store, as one supports the other. Most importantly, we’re located within an area that attracts tourists and has high foot traffic. Catalyst is now a 40m2 store located within the pharmacy and it’s right in the heart of Umhlanga’s ‘village’. We have the added advantage of being open 365 days a year, and we stay open every night until 8pm.

Who are your neighbours?

Restaurants surround us, including RocoMamas and Remo’s Villagio and we located close to a number of convenient stores. The Protea Hotel Umhlanga is also situated in the same area.

What are the shop rental/sales prices like in this area?

They are quite high, but we are able to mediate that by being open until late, every day.

What is your shop footprint/traffic?Catalyst 7-compressed

Because we’re located in a busy area and are open until late, we attract a high level of shoppers each day.

Do you have any expansion plans?

We’re always looking for new opportunities, and on the lookout for new products, designers or creative talent to showcase.

Do you operate online?

No, but we have a Facebook page.

What’s your most popular item?

Books, bags, salad servers, soaps and candles.


Catalyst Gift Store

031 561 1227

Words: Cath Jenkin | Images: Supplied

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