Retailers protest against “unfair” mall owners by remaining closed in Romania
The members of the Romanian Retail Employers' Organization (RORETAIL) will not resume activity after June 15, as allowed by law, in the shopping centers that behaved "unfairly" during the lockdown by charging full rent.
For instance, over one-third of the Benvenuti shoe stores will remain closed, Ziarul Financiar reported.
The Romanian authorities suspended the trade of unnecessary goods and services in shopping centers as of March 16. Still, they did not regulate the contractual relations between the tenants subject to restrictions and shopping mall owners during this period. Under these conditions, although there were examples of ethical business behavior on the part of mall owners, many others adopted a wrong attitude, still demanding the payment of rent and starting foreclosure procedures against tenants, RORETAIL representatives explained.
"We demand fairness and solidarity. We demand normality: zero rent for the period in which we were not allowed to use these spaces. We think of our employees. We think of our customers who want our products and deserve a variety of offers. We are thinking of Romanian entrepreneurs - suppliers, producers, traders - who deserve a market share in their own country," said Cosmin Savu Cristescu, general secretary of RORETAIL.
The organization asks for a new commercial relationship between non-food retailers and shopping center owners, focused on two main elements: zero rent for the period of activity suspension and setting the rent based on traffic and sales, after the opening of stores.
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