(QCOSTARICA) Tomorrow, August 15, is Mother’s Day. A day when mothers all across the country are showered with that special attention, gifts, dining out, family gatherings and more. But not this year. Not with the coronavirus pandemic.
From a retailer’s point of view, Mother’s Day is the third most important commercial date of the year. This year the Costa Rican Chamber of Commerce (CCCR) estimates sales to drop 60% or more; forecasting sales of ¢16 billion colones, compared to the ¢38 billion in sales last year.
Alonso Elizondo, executive director of the CCCR, pointed out that the phenomenon is occurring that consumers spend little time in a business, to look around. This means customers arrive determined, purchase the items, and leave immediately. Almost no compulsive buying.
This behavior is more visible in shopping centers. Consumers don’t walk the malls, window shopping, consuming more than their intended purchases.
Due to the pandemic and the vehicular restrictions in the greater metropolitan area (GAM), where the majority of the malls, box stores and major retailers are concentrated, the influx of consumers is at an all time low.
The CECO Group, an association that groups Lincoln Plaza, Multiplaza Curridabat, Multiplaza Escazú, Multicentro Desamparados, Paseo de las Flores, Paseo Metrópoli, City Mall Alajuela, Mall San Pedro, Oxigeno and Terramall, calculates that the flow of customers is 60% lower compared to last year.
Contributing is the confusion of what is open and what is not, driving to and from orange and yellow alert areas and additional restrictions placed for Saturday (15) and Sunday (16) of the “closed” phase in the orange alert areas.
Added is the moving the legal holiday, August 15, forward to the following Monday, in this case the 17th.