The retailers had already shut their shops or threatened to, to protest at a situation of high costs coupled with low customer footfalls. They hold DLF responsible for both problems, saying it has been unresponsive and insensitive, forcing them on to an agitational path.
The malls in question are at Vasant Kunj and Saket in South Delhi. Retailers at the former want a rent-free period for a full year and a 50 per cent discount on rentals for a second year. Those at Saket want at least a 50 per cent discount on first-year rentals and a lesser quantum in the next year. The DLF rent waiver will end next month.
The average monthly rentals for DLF's Vasant Kunj and Saket malls for ground floor, first floor and second floor are Rs 225, Rs 180 and Rs 150 per sq. ft., respectively. "We understand the problems faced by our tenants due to ongoing slowdown and may think of extending the rent free period by three months. However, we will not give in to any such demand which will hurt our business prospect in future," said a DLF official, who declined to be identified. "The retailers and the company will have to agree to terms which are beneficial for both the parties.''
There was a meeting between retailers and the developer on Friday, but there was no agreement and there will be another meeting in a few days.
"Since the Vasant Kunj mall is only 20 per cent operational and it will take a full year for the new retailers to come in, the footfalls will remain very low. In this scenario we would be able to pay full rentals only from the third year," said Tarun Manglani, president, Malls Welfare Association, DLF Place Vasant Kunj.
"The Saket mall is doing better than the Vasant Kunj mall and that is why we have asked for only 50 per cent discount on rentals in the first year, as compared with full-year rent-free period for the Vasant Kunj malls," added Manglani. DLF Place, Saket, has 60 per cent occupancy.