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Small businesses remain key to attractiveness of shopping malls

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LettersSmall businesses remain key to attractiveness of shopping malls

Readers discuss efforts to retain independent stores in shopping malls, and Hong Kong’s storm water drainage systemHong Kong environmental issuesLettersPublished: 11:30am, 17 Sep, 2023Why you can trust SCMP

Feel strongly about these letters, or any other aspects of the news? Share your views by emailing us your Letter to the Editor at [email protected] or filling in this Google form. Submissions should not exceed 400 words, and must include your full name and address, plus a phone number for verification.I am writing in response to the letter, “ESG evaluations of social impact must reflect reality on the ground” (September 6), which questioned Link’s score in S&P Global Ratings’ ESG evaluation and argued that the evaluation did not reflect Link’s rent hikes which forced many small tenants out of shopping centres and replaced them with chain stores.

This could not be farther from the actual situation. Small independent stores or speciality shops are essential to ensuring the provision of a wider range of goods and services, which adds character and attraction to our shopping malls. There are no incentives for us to substitute distinctive small shops with run-of-the-mill chain stores to keep our customers engaged. We always actively search for individual speciality tenants that offer high-quality, unique products and services.

Whenever a tenant ends their lease, we look for a similar replacement. When some elderly operators choose to retire at the end of their leases, it is difficult to find substitutes that have the same affinity with the local neighbourhood. We may have to settle for the closest replacement of a chain store in a similar trade category to serve the community.

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