Scentre Group says that 57 per cent of retailers at its 37 Westfield malls across Australia are open and trading, with significantly more shops to open over the coming weeks as the coronavirus lockdowns ease.
“Based on the latest guidance from National Cabinet, we would anticipate the majority of the remaining stores will reopen soon,” the property group announced on Monday.
“The community can have confidence to shop and our centres and we ask customers to maintain their good hygiene and physical distancing practices when they visit our centres and our retailers.”
All of its 42 malls in Australia and New Zealand remained open during the pandemic and this weekend there was a significant increase in business, with double the numbers of shoppers from five weekends ago.
Releasing sales figures, Scentre Group said sales at specialty retailers were up 2.3 per cent in January and February and down 25.9 per cent in March.
Sales in supermarkets, department stores and cinemas were up 0.9 per cent in January and February and down 2.3 per cent in March.
The company didn’t release sales figures for April.
Scentre Group said it and joint venture partner Dexus Wholesale Property Fund have agreed to defer construction of arootop entertainment, leisure at dining precint at its Westfield Mt Druitt mall west of Sydney.
The company won’t pay an interim dividend and is trying to cut operating expenses by 25 per cent during the pandemic period, including adjusting the roles of 80 per cent of its employees.
At 1047 AEDT, Scentre Group shares were up 2.7 per cent to $2.26.