Sonae defers shop rents by 50%

 In Economy, News, Property

Sonae Sierra, the Portuguese multinational shopping centre developer and management company has frozen rent payments on shop units as shop traders face ruin.

Sonae Sierra has decided to defer 50% of shop unit rents for three months in some but not all of its shopping centres.

And companies such as Merlin and Mundicenter opted for a 100% rent moratorium while their shopping centres remain closed.

Closed for over two months, sales in shopping centres have hit close to zero and have been begging shopping centre management companies to be understanding since many cannot meet their rent payments.

But last week shop traders began to accuse management companies of a “lack of solidarity”

However, there has been some backtracking, but they are not enough, says Miguel Pina Martins, founder of the newly created Association of Retail Brands and Restauranteurs (AMRR).

Sonae Serra has already offered to defer rents by 50% for three months . March, April and May. When the three month period is up starting in June, the traders will have to start repaying the backlog in rents from January 2021 in 24 instalments according to an interview with ECO Online news.

Miguel Pina Martins says the measure is insufficient. “At the moment, Sonae Sierra is behind in terms of the other shopping centre management companies. We welcome the measure, but it is still a far cry from best practices and other shopping centre management companies that have come up with more interesting contingency plans,” he says.

Miguel Pina Martins also notes that this deferment of 50% does not apply for the Colombo and Vasco da Gama shopping centres held by Sonae Sierra and CBRE Global Investors who to date have not informed shopkeepers of measures.

This deferment of 50% has also been adopted by Square Asset Management for the nine shopping centres it holds in Portugal – AlbufeiraShopping, Continente de Portimão, Centro Comercial Continente Telheiras, LoureShopping, CombraShopping, Gaia Jardim, Minho Centre, Fórum Castelo Branco and Fórum Viseu – and two retail parks – Montijo Retail Park and Coimbra Retail Park.