Tenants and staff were in shock when the Promenada shopping center in Chiang Mai suddenly closed down due to the economic fallout from Covid-19.
Chiang Mai’s CityNews reported that the shopping center acquired more than 20 million baht (US$580,000) in debt from electricity bills.
The management said they had to close the shopping center immediately because they were unable to pay the electric bill.
The Promenada Shopping Center in Chiang Mai sent an official letter to each tenant and store that they were temporarily closing immediately.
Thai media reported that every store staff member was shocked after not receiving any alert and even opened their shops as usual.
Additionally, a Promenada shopping center representative told each shop to move out and close immediately as the power would be turned off in a short amount of time.
Shopping Center Management blamed pandemic
The management company that runs the shopping center, ECC Chiang Mai Company, complained their business was severely affected by the pandemic.
They had been trying to manage it for well over two years. Many shop owners and retail outlets, however, laid the blame on company mismanagement.
According to a company representative, they attempted to retain each tenant by lowering the rental fee or waiving the rent for some months. Because of this, the company was unable to earn enough to cover its expenses.
A statement from the managing board members said they were sorry for the situation and “would like to thank all partners for joining the business”.
According to Khaosod News, the shopping center had been unable to pay its electricity bills for many months, accruing a debt of almost 20 million baht. Their electricity bill last month was 5 million baht, and they faced an urgent deadline from the Provincial Electricity Authority.
Meanwhile, Central Pattana Plc, Thailand’s leading real estate developer, which operates Central shopping malls, residential estates, commercial buildings, and hotels across Thailand, reported a 30% increase in traffic to its shopping centers.
Following the announcement that international visitors no longer have to undergo RT-PCR tests before entering Thailand from 1 May, Central Pattana Plc expects this trend to continue.
Central Pattana said in a statement that it continues to encourage the Thai government to ease restrictions on the tourism industry in the third quarter and prepare advertising campaigns and promotional services to encourage tourism within and outside the country.