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Delhi: Mall management suggests lockdown rent waiver till June 15, concessions



NEW DELHI: After intense negotiations between malls and retail food outlets, DLF Shopping Malls has taken the first step to resolve the impasse and offered to waive the minimum guaranteed (MG) rent for the lockdown period till June 15 while suggesting new rent and revenue-sharing slabs meant to expedite the reopening of eateries.

In a letter sent to retail tenants on the rental program while seeking to support them in restarting their businesses, DLF suggested a complete waiver of rent for the lockdown period till June 15, plus, for CyberHub tenants, a 70% waiver on MG rent in Q2, 45% in Q3 and 20% in Q4. Similarly, a 50% waiver on MG rent for Promenade Mall tenants in Q3, 25% waiver in Q3 and a 10% waiver in Q4.

A company spokesperson said, “DLF believes in long-term partnerships driven by strong relationships. This gesture is in that same spirit.”
In order to avail this scheme, the letter asks the outlets to reopen within seven days of the malls resuming business, a lock-in period till March 2021, and a 2% higher revenue sharing for FY 2020-21. It adds that in case sales reach 80% of 2019-20 in Q3, then the MG rent would be 100% in Q4 at Promenade, while it would similarly be 90% in CyberHub if sales touched 70% of last year’s sales. The letter also insists on clearance of all dues by September 30.

Restaurateurs are enthused at this overture. Ashish Kapur of Whisky Samba and The Wine Company termed the developments as positive and a first formal communication by a mall developer showing willingness to engage with outlets and restaurants. Kapur hoped for a quick re-opening of restaurants.

AD Singh of the Olive Group of Restaurants said the DLF terms were positive and progressive. He welcomed the suggestion of no rent till June 15, opining that this could have been extended till the pendency of the lockdown. Singh said it was fair that the rental would increase if business was better, but said instead of MG rent, revenue sharing was a fairer way forward based on ground realities.

Other mall developers are also discussing arrangements on a case-to-case basis. The Ambience Malls management told TOI that the majority of the brands had opened their outlets at their malls, and food outlets were following suit. “Our relations with the retailers are harmonious. We are in constant touch with them and are actively working to resolve their problems,” said an Ambience group management official.

Anurag Katriar, president, National Restaurant Association of India, added that most restaurateurs would request rent sharing as the best approach to the early reopening of restaurants as the MG rent was not feasible in such uncertain times.

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