An ordinary Tuesday afternoon in Curepipe. Some passersby stroll in the city center. Window shopping is not mandatory. Many stores are empty and the vendors expect a potential buyer walks through the door.
This scene became daily in the City of Light, can be superimposed on Rose Hill, Vacoas or one of the many malls in the country. The crisis has hit stores and it could last much longer.
At the point where the large shopping complexes should use practices never seen before. "Many are faced with tenants who no longer pay their rents. There are even those who beg from retailers who want to stay and fulfill their rents when they have the means. This is a new phenomenon, "suggests the director of a mall-Wilhems Plains, who requested anonymity. Remains whether this is a marginal phenomenon or not. "This has grown. And this applies even signs that have a large number of visitors, "he adds.
Santosh Ramnoth, President of the Shop Owners' Association, confirms the trend: "Business is not good. You can not deny it. Those who resist are those who have no great expense, have not taken large loans and own the walls of their store. For others, it is very difficult to survive. "For many, we are now talking about survival. The temporary crisis became permanent. And no signs of recovery on the horizon, we must reduce costs, at the staff level to start.
"Closures, we see every day. Stores that do not see a single client from morning till night abound, "says Santosh Ramnoth. Economic crisis oblige, the buying power is lowered. "People are running behind the cheapest prices. Their priority is to avoid unnecessary expenses, "he said.
Ignace Lam notes that the trend is "mi-figue mi-raisin". If for large areas it is almost "business as usual", the CEO supermarkets Intermart concedes that "it is becoming increasingly difficult." At this time of year, people, he said, are still trying to recover expenses. And the hangover lasts longer than usual.
If customers have a tendency to loosen the purse for the holidays this year will, Valentine exception to the rule. "Apart from the flowers that are sold, for the rest, it was not famous. Maybe for Easter it will take a little "hope the CEO of Intermart.
But if there is an area that does not know the crisis is restore. At least when it comes to shopping, since outside of these large complexes is also sluggish. "With food courts that grow everywhere, people go out to eat much more than before," says Ignatius Lam. But beware! Again, it is the cheapest brands work best.
Ignace Lam does not deny that commercial complexes do not work as well as expected. "Sometimes you have to burn your fingers before you know," said the CEO of Intermart. Another fact: those operating for several years are better since the crisis have already been recoup their investments. This is not the case for many "shopping malls" that have emerged these days.