The manufacturing sector might have ramped up production after a gap of more than a month, but major shopping districts in Shanghai, China’s commercial and financial capital, remain deserted, with consumers delaying the purchases of daily necessities as well as big-ticket items, reported the South China Morning Post.
As of early this month, only a third of the city’s about 11,000 stores had reopened for business. “Commercial property developers will be one of the biggest victims of the outbreak,” Colliers International said in a recent research note. “A loss of business time and a sharp drop in foot traffic will have a devastating impact on them.”
Analysts said it was difficult to gauge the impact of the outbreak on commercial mall developers and operators at the moment. But Zhou Lingzi, a senior manager with a state-owned commercial property operator, said a rising wave of closures at retailers would cause a big loss to his company.
“We will lose at least a sixth of our annual revenue for this year, as the city government requires state-owned landlords to exempt tenants from paying rents in February and March,” he said. “Yet, many of them may not be able to survive the epidemic and will have only one choice, namely, close down their shops.”