Business

Shopping malls are reconverted and plan to recover the number of pre-pandemic visitors in December

Shopping malls plan to recover the number of the prepandemic public in December
Shopping malls plan to recover the number of the prepandemic public in December

After being closed for nine months, during the stage of greater restrictions due to quarantine, shopping centers already project that in the next month of December they will reach the same number of visitors as they had in 2019, the year before the pandemic.

The numbers, so far, are positive: in October, it recovered 75% compared to the average figures of 2019. But in November 2020 they had reached only 35% of the public compared to the prepandemic year. And in July of this year, after the second closing, 54 percent.

In October, it recovered 75% compared to the average figures of 2019

“We look at two indicators. On the one hand, the occupation of the premises. In the pandemic it was 85% and today we are at 89%. And then the number of people, where by December we plan to be at the same levels as in 2019. After the reopening, people came to the shopping malls, bought and left. Today the frequency increased, “he said. Agustin Angelini, President of the Argentine Chamber of Shopping Centers. Before the pandemic, the occupancy was 94 percent.

During the months that they remained closed, most of the shopping centers stopped charging the brands rent and only charged part of the expenses —or similar schemes according to each shopping center— in order to maintain occupancy levels. In that closing period, there were many brand changes, new items, remodeling and also investments.

In October, shopping centers reached 75% of visitors compared to 2019
In October, shopping centers reached 75% of visitors compared to 2019

“We were one of the most watched industries during quarantine and reopening. The client saw all of this and felt safe. We are in a process of recovery. In crisis processes there are always winners and losers. Some brands took advantage of the places that were left empty. Items such as sports, free time and decoration and products for the home grew ”, he pointed out. Pablo Peralta Ramos, Commercial manager of the Buenos Aires Recoleta Mall and Solar shopping malls.

New items also entered the shopping malls such as tennis courts, more gyms, services (waxing), safe deposit boxes and even places of recreation. The Recoleta Mall will shortly open a space of 1,000 square meters for after office with an investment of $ 55 million.

In order to sustain the activity during the 9 months that they could not open, from the chamber they explained that there were different strategies, but above all, they stopped collecting rents

“People want to recover what they lost. Cinemas started with a capacity of 30% and today that there is no limitation, they are already at 78% occupancy compared to 2019. Also during the pandemic we change habits and do not do the same things and that is reflected in the new items . Clothing was always the main item, with 64%. Today it is around 60% ”, added Peralta Ramos.

Regarding the negotiations that they carried out between the tenants and the owners of the shopping malls to be able to sustain the activity during the 9 months that they could not open, from the chamber they explained that there were different strategies, but above all, they stopped collecting rents ( and the fixed minimum percentages on sales) and only the expenses were charged, which were reduced by half due to the lower expenses of having a shopping center without working.

The protocols were one of the measures most valued by the clients
The protocols were one of the measures most valued by the clients

Now, in the exit from the pandemic, they also bet on agreements between the parties. In many cases, the percentage that shopping centers charge on the sales of each store was reduced. “The idea was to sustain our business. We learned from the experience of the 2001 crisis where rent continued to be collected and the result was not positive, ”said Peralta Ramos.

The sector conducted a nationwide survey among its customers and, as a result, they highlighted that safety, cleanliness and the variety of premises were the aspects that they valued the most about shopping centers.

The chamber of shopping centers brings together most of the 125 shopping centers in the country, which directly and indirectly employ more than 100,000 people. In total, there are more than 5,400 shops and 800 gastronomic places.

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HELEN HERNANDEZ

Helen Hernandez is our best writer. Helen writes about social news and celebrity gossip. She loves watching movies since childhood. Email: Helen@oicanadian.com Phone : +1 281-333-2229

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