Representational Image
Representational Image
BL Soni

Indore: Shopping malls in the city, which were once the most happening places, are now surviving through their reserves as most brands fail to pay the complete rent. With coronavirus outbreak, malls in the city received only 30 per cent of the rent from national brand stores.

“During lockdown, we had to accept 30 per cent rent payments as not even national brands are able to break-even,” Karan Chhabra, mall owner, said.

He added that financial crisis has hit all the stores including local niche marketing stores as well as multinational brands.

Even as festival season begins and Diwali shopping is trending, the sale of any items in malls has not picked up as yet. “Rs 3.33 crore is usually the basic rent we receive from all the shopping malls, but right now, we are receiving only 30 to 50 percent,” Chhabra said.

He added that to promote economic activities and support stores, they have waved off 50 percent rent until sales pick up.

When asked on how malls plan to make a comeback, Chhabra said, “We are currently focusing on boosting shopping in malls by organising various contests.” He added that indirect and direct promotion tactics are in process with hope that Diwali will bring back customers.

“The idea of window shopping and impulsive shopping is vanishing due to covid-19, which affects sales of most brand stores in malls,” Chhabra said. He added that online shopping has been effective in local stores to a certain extend.

“In case of brands, the sale accounts for online sales and hence, shops of brands are not a very good position as yet,” Chhabra said. He added that eateries, movie theatre and other stores depending upon customer’s walk-in are in trouble.

“We are waving off rent to help stores, but it is not a pragmatic idea to continue this for too long,” Chhabra said.

Shop owners in mall requesting anonymity shared their dilemma of how walk-ins have fallen down to less than 40 percent and hence, the sales as well.

Awaiting Diwali rush

“Businesses of local and national stores is severely hit due to coronavirus outbreak and lockdown. We have waved off 50 percent rent to support stores. However, we need the market to recover soon. Lots of hopes and stores have their eyes set on Diwali sale and profits.”

- Karan Chhabra, Mall owner

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