According to the company Watcom, which specializes in measuring customer flows in shopping centers, from mid-March to mid-May, the drop in customer traffic in metropolitan malls was 6,1%.
The strongest - by 11,5% - the customer flow decreased in the period from April 14 to April 20: on average, 545 people visited one shopping center per 1 sq. M. m per day against 613 people in the same period in 2013. This is due to both the dilution of the customer flow due to the commissioning of new retail space in Moscow, and the reduction in demand, the President of Watcom Group Roman Skorokhodov is sure.
The owner of the Baon chain (more than 130 stores), Ilya Yaroshenko, believes that a psychological effect has worked: messages about events in Ukraine are replaced by information about new sanctions from Europe and the United States, plus everyone is observing currency fluctuations.
Another factor that affects the stores' revenue is the reduction in consumer lending, said Sergei Sarkisov, vice president of the Novard group (owns the Econika shoe chain).
Clothing retailers have recorded a slowdown in sales growth since the beginning of spring. The same trend is observed in shoe retail, says Sarkisov. According to him, in March-April comparable sales fell by 8% across the entire chain, and even more in individual stores: because of this, Econika is already negotiating with shopping centers to revise the currency rental rates. The overall drop in consumer traffic in the network was 12% in March-April. According to the top manager, in the first 20 days of May there is also a drop in comparable sales of 4%, but due to the last ten days he hopes to "break down".
For the first time in many years, in the high season - April - shoe traders actively carried out promotions, Sarkisov noted: the companies offered additional discounts to regular customers, and the purchase of a second pair of shoes was stimulated by discounts of up to 50%.
But according to Watcom, there is an increase in demand for building materials and furniture. Analysts believe that people have decided to preserve their savings by investing in real estate, and now they are equipping the acquired housing.