Retailers bemoan high rentals

HARARE- Rentals for commercial properties in the central business districts (CBDs) of most parts of the country remain unsustainable, a factor that has led to the closure and relocation of many businesses.

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The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers Association said the cost per square metre is too high for large retail operators, a fact contributing to the mushrooming of small shops and the relocation of many shops from CBDs.

Despite depressed business activity in the country, most leaseholders have cited charges estimated between US$14 to US$20 per square metre as the major problem, and have called for a rational pricing regime.

Analysts say market forces, which should guide the reduction of commercial rentals, are not in play as most property owners prefer to have empty offices than slightly reduce rental prices to assist ailing businesses.

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