Malls, which forms a vital part of the Filipino retail experience, are experiencing their worst year ever.
Foot traffic is at an all-time low thanks to restrictions on movement and establishments that can open safely depending on guidance from the government, which has greatly affected many of the tenants in malls around the metro.
It’s going to get worse before it gets better, as retail vacancies are expected to climb to 12% this year, according to Business World. One way to combat the lost revenue for property developers is to lease spaces in their unused malls for e-commerce storage and other uses.
SM Prime Holdings Inc. is already leasing out some of its parking spaces for long-term car storage, which makes sense since parking lots are largely empty because of the pandemic.
AyalaLand Logistics Holdings Corp. is also studying the possibility of turning some of its unused mall spaces to last-mile fulfillment facilities for e-commerce sites, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.
This should allow e-commerce companies like Lazada and Shoppee to deliver goods more efficiently during the economic downturn, as both companies have exploded in popularity.
Lazada, for example, has seen an explosion in transactions, purchases, and on-site time, as well as demand for goods that are usually bought in retail locations.