29 Jun The Journey!
11 years ago, Hillcrest Corner opened its doors for the first time. Since then, we’ve embarked on a long journey, becoming part of the fabric – and family – of Hillcrest. We’ve watched our little community grow into a bustling suburb, and we feel honoured to have shared this voyage with you.
Hillcrest began its life as a sleepy village on a rise in the old main road between Durban and Pietermaritzburg. The area’s expanse of arable land combined with its mild climate made it the perfect place for city-based businessmen and women to escape the summer humidity. The town slowly started gaining popularity, and schools, stores and hospitals blossomed around the growing hub of houses and cottages. In 1971, when Hillcrest gained Town Board status. there were almost 3000 residents.
1995 the town celebrated its 100th birthday. The following year it officially became part of the City of Durban, and a period of rapid development has continued to this day. By the late 2000s, the fledging suburb was crying out for a central, convenient place for its inhabitants to do their weekly shopping.
Hillcrest Corner was born out of this need, establishing the first community shopping centre in the suburb. We knew that people needed a one-stop solution to avoid the arduous trek into the city, and much time and effort were put into creating a varied store offering to cover all the requirements of the residents of the small suburb. Everyday necessities and services were interweaved with elegant boutiques and tasteful cafés, and the centre helped take Hillcrest from a small town on the outskirts of the Durban sprawl to a sought-after suburb with all the mod cons.
We quickly became part of the Hillcrest family. getting involved in the community in any way we could. We ran multiple competitions to give back to our customers: we held events like the Cansa Shavathon and made donations to schools and charities in the area. we celebrated Mother’s Day, Christmas and all the other special holidays with you.
We loved becoming a member of the community, and we are still proud to be part of the fabric of this beautiful and unique suburb.
And since we’ve moved in, things have changed. Many people have realised what a few of us long-timers have known for years — that Hillcrest is the place to be. We’ve seen so many new friends move into our wonderful suburb, which has naturally led to a lot of change. New developments have gone up, new schools have been built for new families. and stores have sprouted to cater to all these fresh faces.
When the number of new residents finally saw the need for a massive regional mall to move in, we knew we had to change what Hillcrest Corner was all about. We no longer needed to be everything to everyone. giving our customers both the daily necessities they needed and the luxuries they wanted, all encased in a centre you’d want to hang out in of a Saturday afternoon. We took a long look at what our customers needed and what unique offerings we could bring to our Hillcrest family.
After examining our neighbourhood, we saw what we needed to become -an easily-accessible, easy-to-navigate-centre to provide Hillcrest residents with all the relevant necessities of everyday life. We know how annoying it can be to trawl through a megamall just to grab the week’s groceries. or to have to drive around to a handful of different stores just to stock up on the basics.
So we embarked on an ambitious redevelopme t project that would allow us to simplify the lives of our shoppers with an easy essential shopping experience. This was no small feat — we put a lot of time. thought, effort and financing into creating a centre that has become the essence of convenience.
order to do this. we reimagined our store in several ways. We increased our parking capacity to make sure no-one has to waste half their trip driving in circles. then made all our parking free to save your shopping budget. We’re already in the centre of the suburb, and we added a new entrance to make Hillcrest Corner even easier to get to. We developed a store mix that would be as relevant as possible for families looking to cover all the day-to-day essentials, even bringing in a Virgin Active gym to so that all daily needs are catered to.
We went through this long and complex process because we love being a part of the Hillcrest family. We’ve seen how our beautiful neighbourhood has changed, and we have changed and grown with you. As part of the fabric of Hillcrest. we know what our suburb needs. and we’ve provided it — essential shopping so easy and convenient, you just can’t resist. To put it simply. we’re simply essential.