On Monday, almost half the retailers in Sofia City Centre, a shopping mall in Bulgaria's capital, did not open in protest of the mall's management raising rents. Shop owners say the management is not considering their challenges.
Frans Muller, CEO of Metro Cash and Carry, said the company has 38 locations in China and annual sales of €1 billion. "But I think we eventually have to aim for about 100 stores to give us the presence we want," Muller said. Metro is betting that demand in China is strong enough to help the retailer nearly triple its MCC business over the next few years.
Gloom might be pervading the retail sector, but discount stores and shopping centres are seeing their sales grow as consumers rein in spending and hunt for bargains. "There are some secondary retail schemes that have capitalised on the current climate by [targeting] discount/value retailers such as Primark, TK Maxx, Wilkinson," said Nick Symons, director at property consultancy Savills.
ANTAD, Mexico's retailer group, said its members reported a 3.3% decline in March sales compared with the same month last year. Part of the decline was attributed to the Easter holiday being in March last year and in April this year.