Friday, March 20, 2020

Shopping malls and commerce begin to suspend operation in SP

To reduce contamination of the new coronavirus, part of the trade will begin to close its doors in the largest city in the country from this Friday, 20. By decree of the city of São Paulo, shopkeepers need to paralyze operations mandatory for 15 days, until the next day April 5. The shopping malls of São Paulo also begin to suspend activities on Friday and have until Monday, 23, to close the spaces, this time on the recommendation of the state government. Academies have until Sunday, 22. The order is for the malls to stand still until April 20. Mayor Bruno Covas estimates that São Paulo has a loss of 1.5 billion reais with measures to combat coronavirus. Delivery and essential trades such as pharmacies, restaurants, convenience stores, bakeries and gas stations, among others, can continue to operate, as long as they intensify cleaning and hygiene operations. The decision only applies to the city of São Paulo, and operations are maintained in the metropolitan and interior region. In Rio, Governor Wilson Witzel had already recommended that non-essential mall stores be closed, as well as gyms. São Paulo is the state with the most cases of covid-19 in Brazil, with 240 confirmed by the Ministry of Health. Rio is 45. The two states so far account for all seven deaths recorded in the country. Some individual companies have also made the decision to close their physical stores across the country, such as food chain McDonald's and fashion retailer Renner. Even before the government's measures, physical retail had been suffering since the beginning of the month with a drop in movement. Sales fell 4.5% compared to the first 17 days of February, according to data compiled by payments company Cielo. Services alone fell by 21.3%. At the other end, as consumers began stockpiling goods at home, non-durable goods such as food and medicine rose 6.8% in the period. On Wednesday, The 18th, consumer flow in physical retail alone fell 41.6% from wednesday's 2020 average, according to a survey by retail data company Seed Digital. The drop was more pronounced in stores in shopping malls, 54.7% on the day. With the restrictions even more severe, franchisees and shopkeepers will have difficulty paying rent and wages. The president of Ablos (Brazilian Association of Satellite Retailers), Tito Bessa, estimates that 80% of small shopkeepers in malls will not be able to afford to go through the crisis. The Brazilian Franchising Association (ABF) said on Tuesday, 17, that it was in direct contact with the networks that administrators of malls to negotiate measures that minimize the effect of the outage for its 1,300 networks of associated franchises. A cruel picture of the impact on retail comes from the Chinese economy, the first affected by the coronavirus. In the first two months of this year, retail fell 20.5% in the country, according to the local government. Chinese unemployment went from 5.2% to 6.3% between December and February. In Brazil, the impact on small retailers can hit the economy that was already fragile.
Exame - 20/03/2020 News Item translated automatically
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