Sasseur Reit sees 'encouraging' reopening sales at China malls

An outlet mall in Chongqing which is part of Sasseur Reit's portfolio. The Reit manager closed all its four malls in late January in response to the spread of the coronavirus in China. The Chongqing mall was reopened on Sunday.
An outlet mall in Chongqing which is part of Sasseur Reit's portfolio. The Reit manager closed all its four malls in late January in response to the spread of the coronavirus in China. The Chongqing mall was reopened on Sunday. PHOTO: SASSEUR GROUP

Sasseur Real Estate Investment Trust (Sasseur Reit) has recorded "encouraging" first-day reopening sales at its Chinese outlet malls since they were shuttered amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The four malls brought in sales totalling 11.5 million yuan (S$2.3 million) on their respective reopening dates, a 129 per cent increase from the corresponding dates a year ago.

The Kunming property was reopened last Wednesday, followed by the Hefei outlet last Friday and the Chongqing and Bishan ones on Sunday.

The Reit manager closed the malls in late January for periods ranging from 44 to 49 days, in response to the spread of the virus in China.

There was "strong pent-up demand" from shoppers who had to minimise their social and shopping activities when the Covid-19 outbreak was "very severe" in China, said Mr Anthony Ang, chief executive of Sasseur Reit's manager.

"Now that the situation has greatly improved, we are seeing a healthy flow of shoppers back to our malls and it is now business as usual," Mr Ang added.

While there will be an impact on the Reit's sales performance for the first quarter due to the closures, its sponsor - Sasseur Cayman Holding - will ensure that the Reit continues to receive the fixed component of the resultant rent according to the entrustment management agreement.

The Reit will also receive the variable component of the resultant rent, which is pegged to actual sales, Mr Ang said.

The Sasseur group has also rolled out marketing and promotional events to celebrate the malls' reopening.

Sasseur Reit units closed down 1.6 per cent to 60 cents yesterday.

THE BUSINESS TIMES

The four malls brought in sales totalling 11.5 million yuan (S$2.3 million) on their respective reopening dates, a 129 per cent increase from the corresponding dates a year ago.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 18, 2020, with the headline 'Sasseur Reit sees 'encouraging' reopening sales at China malls'. Print Edition | Subscribe