The fall of the ruble against the bi-currency basket by about 10% complicated the financial situation of retailers paying rent at the dollar or euro exchange rate. In particular, several chains asked their landlords to freeze the ruble exchange rate for them at a certain level or to provide other preferential lease terms. According to CBRE, all major Moscow shopping centers set rental rates pegged to foreign currencies. The ruble rate is mainly spread in the "regional scale" shopping centers.
Representatives of the companies managing the shopping centers confirmed to RBC the fact that tenants addressed them with similar requests. However, not everyone is ready to make concessions.
The Tashir Group of Companies (Rio Shopping Center, Yerevan Plaza) noted that the rental rate is pegged to foreign currency, but Tashir does not plan to change the terms of the lease until the current contracts expire.
Olga Arkhipova, commercial director of the Manezhnaya Ploschad management company (Okhotny Ryad shopping center), said that the appeals were being considered.
Olga Letyutina, Operations Director of Stolitsa Management (has several shopping centers on the outskirts of Moscow), says that the company can meet tenants with whom it has been working for many years. "For companies that work on a ruble lease agreement, we index the rate, but with those companies whose operating activities are tied to the dual-currency basket, we, by agreement, can fix a price corridor that will be comfortable for both them and us," notes Letyutina.
A similar situation was observed in 2008, when the majority of retailers also appealed to shopping centers to soften the terms of their lease, notes Anna Khlyzorva, director of development for retail space at CBRE. Almost all shopping centers then made a compromise. The exception was made by small property owners, for whom rental income is not always a professional field of activity. Therefore, proposals for a compromise solution from the shopping center should be expected now. But if the shopping centers refuse to soften the conditions, then many retailers can simply leave their premises, which is extremely undesirable for the owners of retail space, since rent money is the main source of income for shopping centers.
Evgenia Osipova, senior director of the retail real estate department at Cushman & Wakefield, notes that rental income forms about 80% of all shopping center income. And if the shopping center does not make concessions, they will begin to lose their tenants.