Shopping Centers Russia Август 2021 Август 2021 - Page 63

Wave after wave

In other regions, the situation with the coronavirus is not so optimistic, which led to the introduction of new, sometimes very strict restrictions. For example, in the Kama region, large shopping centers in Perm, Berezniki, Kungur, Solikamsk and Tchaikovsky were banned from working on Saturdays and Sundays. Shopping centers with an area of more than 8 thousand square meters fell under the restrictions. m. In the capital of the region had to close for the weekend shopping centers "Family", "Planet", "SpesiLove", "Colosseum", "Capital". Only grocery stores were able to continue working in them.

And the authorities of the Rostov region followed the beaten path by their metropolitan colleagues, making public food service the main scapegoat. You can visit a restaurant or cafe only if you have one of three documents: a certificate of vaccination, a certificate that a person has had a coronavirus, or a fresh PCR test. The capacity of the establishments themselves is limited to 30%. Restrictions practically did not affect other industries.

Max Belyaev, vice president of the Federation of Restaurateurs and Hoteliers of Russia, says that business in the regions is much more sensitive to restrictions than in the capitals, and is unlikely to withstand even several weeks of harsh restrictions: “The closure will lead to an avalanche of bankruptcies. The restaurant owners, of course, will then sell their stuff and reopen. After all, a restaurant is not a business, but a state of mind. But for staff, people who do not have any personal "airbag", a new actual lockdown can be fatal. More than 40 thousand people work in the field. They all have relatives, loans. In the end, the authorities themselves are putting themselves on the bandwagon before the upcoming elections."

The head of the Association of Shopping Centers: Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, Bulat Shakirov, even urged to take away from the governors the right to make decisions on any restrictions: “We fought valiantly in Moscow and St. Petersburg. And there they got it, and here is the news from the Rostov region. The level of incompetence and short-sightedness of local officials is striking to the extreme. For the Rostov region, we agreed on the regulations for food service that year, but no one uses them. Nobody simply consults with us”.

A quiet harbour

Experts agree that nowadays a shopping center needs food service much more than a food service shopping center. Moreover, the weather — unlike traditional operators — is not made here by individual establishments (recipe the McDonald's = success seems to no longer work, at least in the capitals), but a well-chosen tenant mix at the food court / in the food — the hall of the shopping center. After all, the mood of a visitor who has come to dine is much more changeable than that of a buyer of, say, shoes: he knows roughly what he needs, and a hungry client can make a choice at the last moment. Therefore, management companies will have to come up with ways to ensure the smooth operation of food service on the territory of the shopping center. Most likely, in the near future, more and more individual rooms on the lower floors will be rented by restaurants — this fact and the presence of a separate entrance give them a certain reserve of strength for the time of possible restrictions. Food courts will become more spacious — most likely, the format of a food hall in a shopping center will gain even more popularity.

Developers understand that they need to react quickly: restaurateurs are increasingly considering offers to open not in a traditional shopping center, but in a separate foodmarket. From the point of view of demand, such projects look very promising. From the latest news: Gremm Group, which owns the Usachevsky market in the capital, plans to build another foodmarket in Moscow, this time in Chertanovo. The site was purchased from the PIK and VTB group, construction is scheduled to begin next year. It is hoped that by the time this food hall opens, lockdowns will be only a memory.

Text: Oleg Ovchinnikov