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Shopping malls see growth despite inflation

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Cyprus malls have escaped unscathed from the effects of hiking inflation rates, with their turnover setting new records.

Stakeholders report that an influx of tourists compared to two years of coronavirus has boosted their revenues, making up for the cost increase.

In comments to Stockwatch, the head of the Cyprus Retailers Association (PASYLE), Marios Antoniou, said that tourist flows have breathed new life into the retail sector, especially in Paphos and Limassol.

Antoniou said that Limassol’s retail market was bolstered by the weekly arrival of 6,000 tourists on cruise ships who shopped in the city.

The managing director and co-owner of the My Mall Limassol shopping centre, Andreas Hadjimitsis, said, “in total, our sales so far this year increased by 7% compared to the same period in 2019, which was a landmark year for retail.”

He estimated that increased sales are due to tourists, especially those coming from Israel arriving on cruise ships at the port who flock by the hundreds to My Mall Limassol.

He expects that footfall in the mall will increase considerably once the casino resort opens next March.

Malls across the island also report better turnover, with the Nicosia Mall posting a whopping 18.5% increase in sales compared to 2019.

Officials cautioned that retailers are dealing with fine margins as they have absorbed most product increases and energy costs.

Nicosia Mall general manager George Georgiou said: “All businesses have realised that they will have to absorb a large part of increases in operational costs, as consumers will not be able to weather the storm due to their shrinking purchasing power”.

My Mall Limassol said it had paid €1.8 mln in electricity bills, but this year it will be paying an eye-watering €4 mln.

As both managers noted, malls are gearing up for the week-long Black Friday (25 November) sales rush, launching the Christmas festive season.