More local shops in shopping centers

In the near future large shopping centers should house more local shops. A special fund, incorporated yesterday, will enable this. The fund will guarantee rental payments for the first few months to project developers. The fund has EUR 2.5 mln to its disposal, mainly finced by the Ministry of Economic Affairs, the National Shopping Council, Rabobank and KBB Vendex.

Small shopowners and consumers complain for some time now that shopping centers mainly host shops from the same large retail chains. Â'Its always more of the sameÂ', according to president H. de Boer of Royal Association of Medium and Small-scale Businesses - MKB-Nederland. Â'Shopping streets in Groningen, Maastricht and Utrecht are identical due to the presence of mainlt these large retail chains.Â' Project developers and constructors prefer to do business with these chains as they can guarantee the continued presence of their shops. The new fund will try to persuade project developers also to consider local shops on prime locations. The objective is to support 120 local shopowners annually.

Mr. H. de Boer is pleased with the new fund. Â'The result of all efforts should be that small and medium-sized local shops must have the same opportunity as the large chains in acquiring prime locationsÂ', according to De boer. Â'Shopping centers will have to offer more diversity, making them more attractive to consumers.Â'

(source: MKB)

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