Phase 2, in the streets of commerce: between crisis and online rents will drop

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When Covid is behind the funds owned by the stores in the Quadrilatero, they certainly won’t discount the fees to the brands that occupy the showrooms. The same goes for the clothing shops on Corso Vittorio Emanuele and, perhaps, for those on Via Dante, Via Torino, Corso Buenos Aires, Corso Vercelli, or for the bars and restaurants on Corso Como. But in most of the city, shop rents will cost less because the alternative for properties would be to vacate the premises.

We calculated from the data of the Fimaa purse how much traders pay on average for the rent of an exercise of 70 square meters with two shop windows in a more secluded position and 100 square meters with three lights located at best in the areas with the highest commercial vocation and we estimated the cost for a small shop, which pays proportionately higher fees. To do this, we based ourselves on the fees charged six years ago, starting from the consideration that a commercial lease lasts 12 years and that for the entire duration it remains virtually unchanged, given that only 75% of inflation is updated every year and therefore the rents of 2014 can be considered, with a certain approximation, those paid on average today by those who have a shop. Those who manage a 70 sq m shop in Buenos Aires, in the less valuable part (between Lima and Loreto), take into account that the first 200 euros of collection of the day are for the benefit of the owner of the walls, who has 100 sq m in the most central part must donate almost 600 euros. Of course, in less renowned areas the costs go down, but also the more limited collection potential.

To those who have seen their collections reduced or zeroed, the relaunch decree provides for a tax credit equal to 60% of the rent, transferable to the owner, for each month from April to June in which there was a drop in turnover of over 50% on 2019. An aid to overcome the first phase of the emergency. The problem what will happen next. Many businesses will have to deal with still reduced collections, both because social distancing reduces customers and because many have little to spend. With collections that drop the obligatory route, reduce fixed costs and the choice often between staff and rent. But even when the emergency is no longer there and the economic one bites minus many stores, especially the non-food ones, will have to deal with a third phenomenon, already underway but growing dramatically and irreversibly: e-commerce.

In a family rent or mortgage can also weigh 30% of income, in retail it exceeds 10% only for activities with very high margins, such as high fashion showrooms or single-brand shops in the top streets. In catering, with high personnel and raw material costs, a rent that represents 10% of collections is almost never sustainable. With a sharp decline in turnover, the rent is closed or reduced. After the crises of 2008 and 2012, a generalized process of renegotiation of the fees started in Milan and this is probably the way forward.

May 27, 2020 | 08:11

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