Monday, February 24, 2020
 
Columnist
Martin Hennecke

Call to cancel rents as Sa Sa lays off 75
 
14/02/2020
 
<p>Sa Sa International (0178) has confirmed it will lay off about 2500 employees and cut pay, as the Hong Kong Retail Management Association demanded landlords cancel February rent instead of just reducing it.</p><p>Sa Sa is to cut <span>not more than 3 percent of the total work force</span> in its back office and frontline. In total, the group has 2,500 work force in Hong Kong, the company said.The pay cut will amount to 10 to 40 percent for the next three months.</p><p>Meanwhile, the group will cut 40 percent of pay for senior management from February to May and 10 to 15 percent of pay for other staff. It hopes to cut costs by 30 percent.</p><p>Ocean Empire has cut pay by 20 percent and arranged more unpaid leave.</p><p>Some senior management&#39;s salaries will be cut by 20 percent this month while 30 to 40 clerks have no-pay leave for three to six days.</p><p>Local Cantonese restaurant operator LH Group (1978) suspended the operation of all its On-Yasai and Mou Mou Club restaurants and halved the remuneration of senior management from March to address the recent mounting public concern about the potential risk of infection associated with aerosol transmission from hotpot meals. But it said it will lay off staff for the time being.</p><p>Meanwhile, the Hong Kong Retail Management Association expects local retail sales for the first half this year to plunge by 30 to 50 percent and called for rent exemption for this month from developers. Tourism-related retail industries like watches and jewelry will slump 80 to 90 percent and urged shopping malls to charge rent according to shops&#39; turnover in March to June instead of the fixed monthly rent.</p><p>Henderson Land Development (0012) said it would reduce February rents by 20 to 60 percent for its shopping mall tenants in the retail, catering and education sectors. The developer will also allow educational institution tenants to defer payment on the rest of their rents for February due to suspension of classes.</p><p>Macau Legend Development (1680), the operator of Macau Fisherman&#39;s Wharf, was reported to have granted tenants a rent-free February and cut 40 percent from March rent and 20 percent from April rent.</p><p>The group expected the earliest recovery would be after June.</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

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