The main shopping malls and shopping centers located in the city and in Greater Córdoba are, in addition to a real estate business for the companies that operate them, a powerful channel for retail trade that accumulates today, and due to the effect of the mandatory quarantine, 19 closing days.
In January, the last month surveyed by the Directorate of Statistics of the Province, these surfaces sold for a total of 996.78 million pesos. Almost 47 percent of that turnover came from clothing and footwear; item followed by gastronomy (16%, with absolute prominence of the “patios”), sportswear (10.7%), perfumery (8%), entertainment (5.36%), electronics (3.49%) and the rest of the items (9.43%).
An exercise of projection of this turnover, based on data from previous years and the impact of seasonality, allows estimating that in March and April, if the pandemic had not broken, the shopping malls could have registered a daily average of sales of 35 , 38 million.
That means that in the 19 days that they have already been closed, the loss of income reaches at least 672 million pesos.
It is only a base number, since the heads of the different shopping centers agree, inside or outside the microphone, that the billing began to be cut days before March 20, the initial date of the quarantine. “March will have had only 12 days of full billing,” says Ignacio Albarracín, commercial manager of Nuevocentro Shopping.
“With the cessation of classes, the collapse was remarkable. In addition, we began to work in reduced hours, and many tenants were closing as a precaution ”, explains Susana Villada, commercial manager of Villa Allende Shopping (VAS), describing the movement that occurred in all shopping centers.
Rentals to a minimum
The value of the standard rental within a shopping center is made up of a fixed and a variable minimum, calculated as a percentage of the turnover of a store (average seven percent of net sale). The tenant pays the one that is higher each month. To this are added the common expenses or “expense” of the shopping, which are paid according to the surface of the premises, but can weigh 50 percent of the rent; and the promotion fund for marketing activities (usually between 10 and 15 percent of the rent).
This unprecedented situation, generated by the quarantine, opened a compass of dialogue with the tenants in which both parties willingly seek to reach possible payment agreements. From the shopping centers they agree that there have not yet been requests for termination of contracts by merchants and that the will is to make conditions for retaining tenants more flexible.
“I have seen letters sent by shopping malls across the country to their tenants these days. In general, they agree to charge a proportional for what was worked in March, which is not more than 15 days. And they aim to cover the ongoing operating costs, such as security or cleaning. Towards April, the idea that prevails is not to collect the rent ”, reveals a local manager who preferred to reserve.
This second measure derives from the majority expectation that after April 13, restrictions on shopping activity will continue to weigh.
Today, in many of them, only the pharmacy and the supermarket work, which are home to minimal activity.
“We seek to accompany the tenant, whose priority today is to pay wages. In March we will charge only a percentage of the sales they have had. If we continue to be closed in April, we will have to rethink it, ”says Albarracín. “There is a very close link to all of them. In March we will make a proportional sales and percentage of common expenses. This is seen day by day, “emphasizes Villada.
Much of the local trade runs through these areas.
$ 849 M It will be the estimated loss of invoicing floor for shopping malls in Greater Córdoba in the 24 days of quarantine, until Sunday 12.
980 They are the places and islands that bring together only the seven main shopping malls in this Capital: Patio Olmos, Nuevocentro, Córdoba Shopping, Dinosaurio Rodríguez del Busto, Paseo del Jockey and the Lugones and Rivera walks.
Traces of quarantine in shops and services
By categories: The most affected
Hospitality, recreation, travel agencies and operators, gastronomy and the group of commercial activities excluding food and beverages and other exceptions.
According to the Economic Analysis Forum for Trade and Services, the total loss of added value for 30 days of quarantine could reach 32,482 million pesos.
In the two groups of sectors most affected by the stoppage of activities, the quarantine impacts on companies that, as a whole, generate employment among 339,510 Cordovan people.
In commerce, the main one is the food and beverages sector, which could offset part of the losses, with an additional turnover of 3,359.9 million pesos per month.
The rest of the services, excluding health, if it suffers a 20 percent drop in activity level in a month, would imply a loss of billing of 9,022.5 million pesos.
The original text of this article was published on 04/07/2020 in our printed edition.