Restaurants and stores migrate to malls to survive pandemic / Article

For sale: a sunny cafe space on Dzirnavu Street, a space for a shop on Krišjāņa Barona Street, a restaurant on Bar Street in Old Riga, a club room on Ģertrūde Street. According to the owner of the real estate market company DoReMi Group Artūrs Obrickis, abandoned commercial spaces can be found on every corner of Riga’s busiest streets today.

“The malls have a little easier this time around. It’s a little easier because they each have their own dedicated marketing strategy, a marketing team that thinks and plans to attract certain shoppers to the mall. many companies have faced the fact that they are not successful [in separately-standing shops] want to try to work in malls, even if it’s more expensive, ”said Obrickis.

The winners are chain type companies, who work with a strategy all the time. However, a single-storey restaurant or shop is unlikely to expand or seek other spaces. Often the victim of this situation is the owner of the space.

“Within a block, there may be stores where a good tenant sits safely and pays stable rent, and nothing has changed and those tenants will be there. But there are rooms where, unfortunately, there are no new tenants at all to look at those spaces, ”Obrickis said.

It depends on both landlord communication with tenants and financial considerations. There are owners who do not want to give discounts, as well as those who do not take into account the current market situation and do not invest in the development of premises.

Santa Graikste, executive director of the Latvian Association of Hotels and Restaurants, does not anticipate good times for catering. During the pre-pandemic period, the tenants of the premises changed rapidly – if one went bankrupt, another quickly appeared. But currently, silence reigns even in the old town, which is normally the busiest.

Graikste said that, unfortunately, due to price increases, many businesses will be shutting down this year. According to her, homeowners can’t give endless discounts when heating and electricity prices go up.

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